The World Champion Houston Astros (80-50) continue to be hounded by the upstart Oakland A’s (79-52), and the two American League West rivals meet for the final time this season as they open a key MLB betting series in Houston on August 27th.

Injuries in the past few months have stalled the Astros pursuit of a second consecutive division title that they claimed so easily last season by 21 games. But the Oakland A’s have already surpassed last year’s 75 wins, and their projected season win total (74.5) posted by the sportsbooks this season. The A’s have been so strong in their pursuit of the champion Astros, and Oakland has the third-best road record in baseball entering the key series.

Last weekend, the A’s took 2-of-3 games from the Astros, but Houston is 10-6 in the season series as they play Oakland for the last time in the regular season starting Monday, Aug. 27th in what promises to be a decisive moment in the American League West standings.

The Astros ride a 5-game winning streak into the pivotal series after sweeping the Angels in Los Angeles and taking the final two games of the series at Seattle. The A’s have won 3-straight after taking down the Twins over the weekend, and Oakland is 7-0-1 SU in its last eight series.

Houston second basemen Jose Altuve returned from the 10-day disabled list last Tuesday and the Astros have not lost since. Outfielder George Springer is set to rejoin the lineup Monday after being sidelined for the past week with a sore left quad.

Here are the pitching match-ups for the Astro’s and A’s series, and we like Houston to take the opener and suggest a run-line wager on Houston.

OAKLAND ATHLETICS AT HOUSTON ASTROS – Monday, August 27th
Anderson (OAK) +165 / +1.5 (-130) / O 8 (-115)
Cole (HOU) -185 / -1.5 (+110) / U 8 (-105)

Lefty Brett Anderson is pitching very well for the A’s most recently with a 1-0 record and 0.68 ERA in August. He’s produced consecutive scoreless starts covering 14.2 innings against Seattle and Texas allowing just six hits with 8 K’s and 1 free pass. However, his worst start of the season came against the Astros when he was tagged for 9 runs (7 earned) and 10 hits over just 3 innings on May 7th in a 16-2 home loss.

Garritt Cole has been superb for the Astros in his debut season in the American League West, posting a 2.73 ERA while going 11-5. He’ll start with an extra day of rest, and has yet to reach the 100 pitch plateau in his four August starts. Cole is 2-0 SU with a 2.92 ERA in four starts versus the A’s this season.

Houston’s Charlie Morton (13-3 / 3.05 ERA) faces Oakland’s Edwin Jackson (4-3 / 2.97 ERA) on Tuesday in another game we prefer the Astros on the run line. Wednesday’s series finale is an early afternoon start from Minute Maid Park, and Dallas Keuchel (10-10 / 3.54 ERA) will have Houston laying big chalk again against Oakland’s Trevor Cahill (5-3 / 3.44 ERA).

Houston will host the Angels and Twins following the A’s series and then head to Boston for a weekend series on NFL opening weekend. Oakland returns home to host Seattle, New York and Texas as September baseball and the push for the American League West title, and the more important AL pennant, continues.