Daily Bet: A’s (-135) vs. Tigers

That didn’t happen, right? Please tell me the Houston Texans—the team that had outscored opponents by an average of 17.5 points per game in racing out to a 4-0 start—didn’t score a single touchdown last night against the Jets after the 11:11 mark of the second quarter. Please tell me they didn’t settle for three field goals, including two from inside 30 yards. Please tell me that after one of those field goals they didn’t allow a kickoff return for a touchdown. Please tell me they didn’t cover a nine-point spread despite leading 20-7 late in the third quarter … despite outrushing the Jets by 100 yards, despite holding the ball for nearly 11 more minutes, and despite picking off Mark Sanchez twice and sacking him three times. Man, sometimes I hate the NFL more than the French hate soap.

Back to baseball tonight, as I’m looking for Oakland stay alive in its best-of-five series against Detroit. Tough first two games for the A’s, who lost 3-1 and 5-4 in Motown over the weekend. Now they’re back home, where they went 50-31 in the regular season, including ending the regular season on a six-game home winning streak that allowed them to leapfrog Texas in the AL West. Going back to Aug. 7, Oakland is 18-5 on its home field. Conversely, the Tigers went 38-43 on the road this season, including just 8-11 since late August.

A’s starting pitcher Brett Anderson, who missed the first 4½ months of the year with an injury, was outstanding in his two home starts, yielding just two runs, nine hits and one walk in 13 innings, beating Minnesota 3-1 and Boston 6-2. Yes, Anderson’s most recent start—back on Sept. 19—was a 6-2 loss to the Tigers when he gave up three runs in just 2 1/3 innings. But that game was in Detroit. In his one career home start vs. the Tigers, the southpaw allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-1 victory.

As for Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, I have to admit he was terrific down the stretch, delivering seven quality starts in his last eight trips to the mound (allowing just eight earned
runs in those seven contests). Sanchez’s one stinker over the last six weeks? You guessed it, against the A’s, when he got rocked for six runs in 5 2/3 innings, losing 12-4 at home.

Rating:★ ★ ★ ★

Monday’s Result: Texans (-9) at Jets (Loss)

Record: 53-46