Houston Astros vs Oakland Athletics Picks and Predictions May 15th 2024

Houston Astros vs Oakland Athletics MLB Wed, May 15, 20:10 pm.
Houston Astros
ML: -250
Oakland Athletics
ML: 200

Houston Astros Grapple with Bullpen Exhaustion in Tight Series Against Oakland Athletics

The Houston Astros secured a narrow 2-1 win in an extended 10-inning match against the Oakland Athletics, a victory underscored by the extensive use of their bullpen following the ejection of starting pitcher Ronel Blanco. This incident, which occurred during Tuesday’s game, has cast a spotlight on both the immediate strain on the Astros’ pitching resources and potential long-term repercussions as they continue a pivotal four-game series.

Critical Bullpen Deployment Raises Concerns

Houston’s strategy to navigate through the series with Oakland relied heavily on its bullpen, particularly evident in their last two games. Pitchers Tayler Scott, Rafael Montero, Bryan Abreu, and Ryan Pressly have been pivotal in the series, with closer Josh Hader working two strenuous innings to clinch Tuesday’s win. This pattern of reliance suggests potential challenges in maintaining a fresh bullpen ready for subsequent games.

Ronel Blanco’s Ejection Adds to Astros’ Dilemmas

Blanco’s ejection came after umpires found a sticky substance on his glove, more tenacious than the allowed rosin, leading to significant speculation about his future availability. Described by first base umpire Erich Bacchus as the “stickiest stuff” encountered in recent inspections, the substance’s discovery led to immediate removal by crew chief Laz Diaz. Astros manager Joe Espada and Blanco maintained that the substance was merely rosin, but to no avail. The potential 10-game suspension for Blanco looms large, posing another hurdle for a team already coping with recent injuries in their pitching roster.

Astros’ Upcoming Game Strategy with Framber Valdez

Looking ahead, left-hander Framber Valdez is scheduled to start, bringing a mixed record of recent performances and historical success against the Athletics. Valdez, with a career ERA of 2.97 against Oakland, represents a crucial element of Houston’s strategy to stabilize their series performance following their bullpen’s heavy usage.

Aaron Brooks to Challenge Astros in Series Debut

On the opposing mound, right-hander Aaron Brooks is set to make a significant return to Major League Baseball with the Athletics, marking his first major league appearance since 2022 and his first start since 2019. With a challenging history against the Astros, including a devastating loss where he allowed nine runs in three innings, Brooks’ upcoming performance is eagerly anticipated.

Conclusion: Astros’ Strategic Decisions Crucial in Upcoming Games

The Astros face a complex array of decisions and challenges as they advance in the series against the Athletics. The management of their taxed bullpen, coupled with the implications of Blanco’s ejection and potential suspension, will critically influence their ability to sustain competitive momentum. As both teams prepare for the next game, the strategic deployment of pitchers like Valdez and the return of Brooks will be key factors to watch.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Tue, May 14, 23:34 pm.
Houston Astros
O 8.5
Oakland Athletics
U 8.5
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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