At least one team in the American League West won’t be complaining about making three trips to Houston this season.
The A’s run to the top of the division, and their league-best overall record, is thanks in part to Oakland’s success against the Astros — six of the A’s 12 wins have come against Houston, and Oakland has outscored the Astros
“We played the Astros six times and got six wins,” said A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie, who was obtained from Houston before the season started. “You can say, ‘Oh, just look at their schedule.’ That’s all we can do. We can’t do anything else but win.”
The A’s have an 11-game winning streak against the division as a whole, but now head to the AL East for games at Tampa Bay and Boston before returning home to face Baltimore, like Oakland a surprise playoff team last year.
The A’s are without their top player, slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who is not eligible to come off the DL (strained muscle, left hand) until the end of that series against Baltimore.
However, the team does expect first baseman Brandon Moss to return from paternity leave in time for today’s game at Tampa Bay. Moss is tied for the team lead in RBIs with 13, along with Lowrie.
The A’s do not face Houston again until the last week of May, but like the rest of the West, the team will play the Astros 19 times.
The addition of Houston to the AL West increases the chances of one or both wild-card teams coming from the division because the number of wins should go up for the clubs who get to play rebuilding Houston so often.