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There isn’t much to say about each team individually but know that this series will see some fireworks pop early.
There is no question that these two clubs hate each other and for good reason. Mike Fiers, who is a former Astro and now A’s starter, is the one who blew the whistle on the Astros’ sign stealing antics. Fast forward to August 9th, 2020 and things got heated.
The A’s were up 6-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning when Astros’ pitcher Humberto Castellanos sent a 78-mph steamer right into the lower back of outfielder Ramon Laureano, who then rushed the Astros’ dugout.
So…there is no secret these two hate each other and this should make for one heck of a slug fest in and out of the diamond.
By the Numbers*
|Houston Astros (2-0)||Oakland Athletics (2-1)|
|1 Home runs (T-10)||3 Home runs (T-4)|
|.194 Batting Avg (10)||.194 Batting Avg (11)|
|1.00 ERA (2)||3.67 ERA (9)|
|.119 Opp Batting Avg (1)||.277 Opp Batting Avg (13)|
*Wild Card Series Numbers
This is a matchup that can be split right down the middle in all honesty. Oakland has the edge on offense as they have scored more home runs this postseason. However, Houston is a defensive wall of a team, holding opponents under a .200 batting average and allowing only one run earned. Given the tension surrounding this series, it will come down to who wants it more.
Astros: Carlos Correa, Shortstop
2020 Postseason Stats: .500 BA – 1 RBI – 1 Home Run
Carlos Correa will have to give the A’s something to be mad about in this series. He owns the Astros only home run in the postseason and they will need more if they want to send Oakland home.
Athletics: Marcus Semien, Shortstop
2020 Postseason Stats: .250 BA – 2 RBI – 1 Home Run
The 30 year old Semien is having his best postseason of his career and the A’s are better because of it. His ability to turn nothing into a run is uncanny and the A’s will need him to do that often to counteract Houston’s bullpen.
A’s over Astros
Hate is a strong word but it describes the overall aura of this series. The Houston Astros will be out to show they belong, but the A’s are treating this as a business trip. Oakland takes this one.