A second 2013 home start for Oakland A’s pitcher Sonny Gray against the Houston Astros Thursday will yield the same result as his first meeting – an A’s victory.
With the exception of one bad performance (against a strong hitting Baltimore Orioles club on August 25), Gray has proved a reliable Major League starter in his first Big League opportunity.
In his four other starts, he’s delivered a quality performance (six innings or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed). He looked great in his last appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays (6 2/3 innings pitched, five hits, no runs, one walk and seven strikeouts). But what is most notable here is how Gray carved up the Houston Astros’ lineup when he faced them on August 15.
It was Gray’s best performance of the year. He went eight innings, scattering four hits and one walk, while allowing zero runs and striking out nine. Like that game, this one is at O.Co Coliseum, so there’s no reason to expect a different result.
In fact, this game should be a slightly easier road to victory as Gray had to square off against Astros’ left-hander Erik Bedard in his last Houston meeting. Bedard is a seasoned pitcher. This time, he gets to compete against Brad Peacock, who is both relatively inexperienced (he only has 12 Major League starts in his career) and ineffective (he has a 5.98 ERA in 2013). Pick the A’s to win at 1.37.
Elsewhere, expect the San Francisco Giants to earn a home win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It has been a horrible year for the defending World Series champions, the Giants. They sit at the bottom of the National League West and will almost certainly not get a chance to defend their title in the post-season.
That said, in a bit of an anomaly, the Giants have been excellent against teams in their division. In particular they’ve dominated against the Arizona Diamondbacks, bringing a 10-5 head-to-head record against their West rivals. This particular pitching match-up also favors the Giants.
Ryan Vogelsong started the season horribly and then experienced an extended stay on the disabled list. But since he’s returned on August 9, he’s looked very good. He has four quality starts in five chances and sports a 2.93 ERA in that stretch.
A number of key hitters in the San Francisco line-up will be happy to see the Diamondbacks’ Trevor Cahill on the pitcher’s mound. Marco Scutaro (.313 batting average), Pablo Sandoval (.300), Gregor Blanco (.313), Angel Pagan (.467) and Buster Posey (.286) all have good track records against the Arizona pitcher. Take the Giants at 1.85.
Back the San Francisco Giants to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks at 1.85
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