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Open Thread: Game 5 - Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros

Hold onto your hats! After starting out the season with an abysmal two games, the A's rallied in style against the Mariners, putting up 14 runs in the final two games of the series and storming their way to a series split. Now they must travel to Houston to take on the newest member of the AL West, the Astros.

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Happy Friday and welcome to the first Friday Night game thread of the year! After an exhausting week, and a disappointing Opening Day and Day After Opening Day, the A's will take the field tonight seeing Miss .500 for the first time. Let's hope we move up from here.

The one thing that the A's absolutely should not do is underestimate the Astros. Yes, we all know the statistics. Yes, they are not predicted to be very good. But they are a major league baseball team; one the A's will see quite a bit this year, and the A's should probably play in that mindset accordingly. Like it or not, these games in April count every bit as much as the high-drama games in September, and the better the A's start the season, the better chance they will have to compete with the powerhouses in the AL West. Remember that the A's have been left out of a lot of playoff predictions, with the thought that they can't compete with the money on the Angels and Rangers. Let's prove them wrong again.

The Rangers have already beaten the Angels today, sending the Angels into the cellar to start the season. We can expect to see the familiar faces of Chris Carter, Travis Blackley, and tonight's starter; Brad Peacock, all playing for Houston this season. Daric Barton did clear waivers and is back in Sacramento.

One starter for the A's is missing tonight in the person of Brandon Moss, who is still waiting for a baby to be born. Rookie Nate Freiman will be playing first base.

The A's will send RHP Dan Straily to the mound against Peacock tonight as we get started for Game 5.

Here are your lineups: