The Houston Astros will send Zack Greinke to the mound in the hope of finishing off the Oakland Athletics in Game 4 of their ALDS clash.
The A’s kept themselves in the series by rallying to win Game 3 by a 9-7 score.
Greinke Making Surprise ALDS Appearance
Houston tried to break Oakland’s resolve with a five-run rally in the fifth inning to take a 7-4 lead. The Athletics fought back to tie the game in the seventh on a three-run home run by Chad Pinder, then took the lead for good by manufacturing two runs in the eighth.
“Once our backs are against the wall, suddenly everything changes,” Oakland pitcher Liam Hendriks, who picked up the win in relief, said after the game. “Everybody has that bit of extra drive.”
The A’s must still win two more games in a row to complete their comeback. Oakland will start Frankie Montas in Game 4. Montas struggled after missing more than a week with upper-back tightness during the regular season, but got the win in relief in the decisive Game 3 of Oakland’s wild-card series.
|ALDS Odds – Game 4 (via FanDuel Sportsbook)
|Athletics (Montas): -102
|Astros (Greinke): -112
|Rays (Thompson): +116
|Yankees (Montgomery): -132
The Astros initially appeared to be leaning toward a bullpen game for Thursday, but manager Dusty Baker instead announced Greinke as the starter. Greinke struggled down the stretch and has been dealing with arm soreness. While Baker still doesn’t know what Greinke can do, the 36-year-old will at least begin the game and go as far as he can.
“I’m hoping to get as many quality innings as he can give us,” Baker told reporters.
Even with the question marks surrounding Greinke, FanDuel Sportsbook sees Houston (-112) as a very slight favorite over Oakland (-102) in Game 4.
Arozarena Homers Again in Rays Win
The New York Yankees find themselves trailing 2-1 in their ALDS series after the Tampa Bay Rays used a long ball barrage to win Game 3 by an 8-4 score.
Home runs by Randy Arozarena, Kevin Kiermaier, and Michael Perez in the first six innings put the game out of reach. Arozarena has homered in all three games of the ALDS.
“He is the best player on the planet,” Kiermaier said of Arozarena, a 25-year-old rookie from Cuba. “He’s incredible. He’s very unique in so many ways. Everyone loves him. He’s the man. What he’s doing is incredible.”
Tampa Bay will start the game with side-armer Ryan Thompson on the mound, though he’ll only be used as an opener. The Yankees will take a more traditional route, sending starter Jordan Montgomery (2-3, 5.11 ERA) to the hill.
New York (-132) comes into Game 4 as a favorite over Tampa Bay (+116), but the Rays will want to finish the series on Thursday, rather than potentially facing Gerrit Cole in a decisive Game 5.
“We have a great opportunity ahead of us,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters. “We’re still in control of things. We just have to get a W and force this to a Game 5.”