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Game Thread #14: Oakland A’s vs. Houston Astros

Time to take out the trash

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Photo provided by Bryan @SandLot408

The Houston Astros are coming to town, and nobody gets to go to the Coliseum to boo them. Represent us well, ye cardboard cutouts.

On the bright side, the Oakland A’s are on a six-game winning streak and have a chance to strike a massive early blow to their top AL West competition. They’re already a couple games ahead of the Astros in the standings, and a win in this three-game home series would increase that cushion while also banking a few of the limited head-to-head matchups between the two clubs.

The A’s lineup is hot hot hot, but they’ll have a tough challenge Friday in Astros starter Zack Greinke. The former Cy Young faced Oakland twice last year, in two different uniforms (surrounding a midseason trade), and he beat them both times for a total of 13 innings, one run, 11 strikeouts, and three walks. The current coldest hitter in the group, Marcus Semien, is the only one who homered off Greinke last summer.

Meanwhile, the green and gold sends Chris Bassitt to the mound. The right-hander is hot out of the gate, allowing just one run in his first two starts combined, with 12 strikeouts to just one walk. He faced the Astros three times last year and went exactly six innings in each game, with 3-4 runs per start, resulting in a win, a loss, and a no-decision (team loss).

Houston’s bullpen is ravaged by injuries, which you can learn more about in our series preview, but their lineup is still stacked. Bassitt will have a tough challenge ahead of him, just like his teammates will against Greinke.

First pitch is 6:10 p.m., with the following options to watch or listen:

  • TV: NBC Sports California
  • Radio: 960 AM
  • Online video stream: fuboTV
  • Online audio stream: iHeartRadio

A’s lineup (home)

  1. SS Marcus Semien (R)
  2. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  3. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  4. 3B Matt Chapman (R)
  5. RF Mark Canha (R)
  6. DH Khris Davis (R)
  7. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  8. C Sean Murphy (R)
  9. 2B Tony Kemp (L)
  • Chris Bassitt, RHP

Davis is in there after a nice game Thursday, and Grossman gets a day over Stephen Piscotty. Kemp has quietly reached base in seven of his last 12 plate appearances.

Astros lineup (away)

  1. LF Kyle Tucker (L)
  2. 2B Jose Altuve (R)
  3. 3B Alex Bregman (R)
  4. DH Michael Brantley (L)
  5. 1B Yuli Gurriel (R)
  6. SS Carlos Correa (R)
  7. RF Josh Reddick (L)
  8. CF Myles Straw (R)
  9. C Martin Maldonado (R)
  • Zack Greinke, RHP

Houston is missing CF George Springer with a sprained right wrist, so Tucker moves up to leadoff and Straw gets a start. Otherwise this is their normal, terrifying lineup.

Let’s Go Oakland!