Athletics vs. Astros Prediction and Odds for Saturday, August 13 (McCullers Completes Astros' Infinity Gauntlet)

Lance McCullers Jr. makes his first MLB start in nearly a year for Houston today
Lance McCullers Jr. makes his first MLB start in nearly a year for Houston today / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston "Thanos" Astros receive the final stone in their Infinity Gauntlet today, as Lance McCullers Jr. makes his long-awaited 2022 debut for the World Series favorites.

McCullers looked like one of MLB's best young pitchers before getting hurt. Last year, he compiled a 3.16 ERA with 10.26 strikeouts per nine innings. If he can achieve anything close to that level of success, the Astros may cruise to a championship.

Oakland trots out Zach Logue, who actually picked up a win over Houston last month. He's been dreadful otherwise though, with a 4.79 ERA, and gave up 12 hits and six runs in his last minor league start before getting called back up for today's game.

Can Logue slow Thanos down or will McCullers pick up right where he left off?

Let's check out the odds from WynnBET Sportsbook to help find the value in this Athletics vs Astros matchup:

Athletics vs Astros Odds, Run Line and Total

Run Line:

  • Athletics: +1.5 (+115)
  • Astros: -1.5 (-140)


  • Athletics: +245
  • Astros: -270


  • 8.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

Athletics vs Astros Prediction and Pick

In movies, villains are often introduced by bludgeoning some poor, unsuspecting victim. The villain showcases its incredible power, stoking fear in viewers for the rest of the movie.

That's what McCullers Jr. facing the Athletics feels like today. He could have faced a tough lineup, but why not let him flex his muscles against one of MLB's worst offenses?

With six straight losses, Oakland is woefully overmatched. McCullers wasn't overly sharp in his minor league rehab starts, but I think he'll snap (Get it? Because Thanos) back to form in his first major league action in nearly a year.

Even if McCullers doesn't dominate, the Astros' lineup should do plenty of damage against Zach Logue. Houston ranks fourth in OPS against left-handed pitchers over the last month, while Logue has an expected FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) above 5.00 in each of his last five starts.

For reference, Chris Flexen currently has the worst expected FIP among all qualified starters at 5.08. Logue is as bad as it gets.

Lightning won't strike twice. Back the 'Stros to pick up a convincing win as the rest of the league realizes the true villains of this movie have arrived.

Pick: Astros -1.5 (-140)

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.