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Game Thread #131: A's at Astros

Let's play SPOILER and put some down force on the Astros.

Sean Manaea gazes up from the depths - "You're coming with me!"
Sean Manaea gazes up from the depths - "You're coming with me!"
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And if you can't join 'em, ruin their Wild Card chances. That seems to be Oakland's mantra heading into the final month of the regular season.

After taking 2 of 3 from the Cardinals, who reside in the same division as the unstoppable Cubs and thus have their playoff hopes riding on a Wild Card slot, the A's continue their road trip by heading to Houston. After being most people's favorites to win the AL West heading into the season, the Astros have struggled due to shaky starting pitching and find themselves tied with the Seattle Mariners, 8.5 games back of the Rangers for the division lead. While there is still a month of baseball to be played, right now it looks like the Astros have their hopes riding on the one-game decider. And the A's, mysteriously decent with their sterling rotation of Manaea-Graveman-Neal-Detwiler-Triggs, are looking to balrog the Astros and suck them into the abyss of mediocrity.

Sean Manaea is on the mound for Oakland and is continuing his increasingly impressive rookie campaign. He shut down a strong Indians lineup last week, going 7 innings with 8 strikeouts and only 1 earned run.

Joe Musgrove is pitching for Astros and has been headed in much the opposite direction. He has allowed 19 hits in his last two starts for a total of 13 earned runs after a strong debut to start the month of August.

Today's Lineups

Coco Crisp - LF George Springer - RF
Danny Valencia - RF Alex Bregman - DH
Stephen Vogt - C Jose Altuve - 2B
Khris Davis - DH Carlos Correa - SS
Ryon Healy - 3B Evan Gattis - C
Yonder Alonso - 1B Yulieski Gurriel - 3B
Marcus Semien - SS Marwin Gonzalez - 1B
Jake Smolinski - CF Teoscar Hernandez - LF
Max Muncy - 2B Jake Marisnick - CF
Sean Manaea - LHP Joe Musgrove - RHP

Game time is 5:10 PT. Go A's!