Oct 9, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) and catcher Derek Norris (36) high five teammates after winning game three of the 2012 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Detroit Tigers 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

A’s Take on New Division Rivals in Houston: Game Preview


Analysts across the country claim that the winner of the AL West will be the team that has more wins against the Houston Astros, who could lose 100 games this season.

The Astros are joining the American League West, and you can bet the A’s, Mariners, Angels, and Rangers are licking their chops.

Oakland will get their first shot at Houston this evening at Minute Maid Park, with flamethrower Dan Straily taking the hill. Straily went 2-1 with a 3.89 ERA in seven starts after being called up last season. He is expected to be sent down the minors following this start, as the veteran Bartolo Colon is set re-join the club after serving his five-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.

For the Astros, Brad Peacock will get the start. Ironically, Peacock was in the A’s farm system in 2012, and was ranked as their top pitching prospect. Oakland shipped him to the Astros in the deal that got them Jed Lowrie.

Also involved in the Lowrie trade was first baseman Chris Carter, who had a breakout season with the A’s last year. Expect him to be eager to crush a few out of the park against his former club.

Last but not least, the A’s will say hello to LHP Travis Blackley, who was DFAed after Spring Training and traded to the Astros yesterday. He will be in uniform tonight and could pitch if he gets the call.

The A’s are 2-2 after winning the last two games to split their opening series with the Mariners, while the Astros are 1-2, losing the last two games of a three-game set against the Rangers.

LINEUPS

Oakland A’s (2-2)

Crisp CF

Lowrie SS

Reddick RF

Cespedes LF

Smith DH

Jaso C

Donaldson 3B

Sogard 2B

Freiman 1B

Houston Astros (1-2)

Altuve 2B

Wallace 1B

Carter LF

Pena DH

Maxwell CF

Ankiel RF

Castro C

Dominguez 3B

Gonzalez SS

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