MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 0 0 1 0 2 0 2 3 892
Oakland0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 160
  W: Z. Greinke (1-0)   L: C. Bassitt (0-1)
7:07 PM PT8:07 PM MT9:07 PM CT10:07 PM ET22:07 ET2:07 GMT10:07 7:07 PM MST9:07 PM EST9:37 PM VEN6:07 UAE (+1)8:07 PM CT, April 1, 2021
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California  Attendance: 10,436

A's, Astros get playoff rematch to open season

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics

  1. This is the first time the Astros and A's will open a season against each other. Houston has won eight straight Opening Day games, the longest active streak in the majors.
  2. The ALDS between the Astros and A's last season was the first playoff series in MLB history in which both teams hit at least a dozen home runs. This is despite the fact that the series lasted only four games (Astros won, 3-1).
  3. Oakland's .225 batting average last season was the lowest ever by an American League team that made the playoffs.
  4. Last season Kyle Tucker joined Mickey Mantle (1960), Mike Trout (2013) and Mookie Betts (2016) as the only players since 1960 to finish in the top 10 in the American League in triples, extra-base hits, RBI and stolen bases.
  5. With his start, Zack Greinke will join David Price as the only active pitchers to make an Opening Day start for three different teams. Price started on Opening Day for the Rays, Tigers and Red Sox, while Greinke has done so for the Royals, Diamondbacks and now Astros.
  6. Chris Bassitt posted a 0.34 ERA in September last season, the lowest ERA by any pitcher in September (minimum four starts) since Atlanta's Greg Maddux had a 0.29 ERA in September 1995.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/4/2021

The Oakland Athletics seek to continue their 2020 regular-season mastery of the visiting Houston Astros when last year's top two teams in the American League West go head-to-head Thursday night on Opening Day of the 2021 season.

Right-handers Chris Bassitt (5-2, 2.29 ERA in 2020) of the A's and Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03) of the Astros will get the series-opening assignments when the clubs meet again after Houston ended Oakland's season with a 3-1 series win in the AL Division Series.

Bassitt pitched Game 1 of the series and Greinke Game 4. Both left with a lead in their game, with the Astros rallying to take the opener and holding on in the series-clincher.

The postseason series was played in Los Angeles, but eight of the teams' 10 regular-seasons meetings last year were held in Oakland. The A's took seven of the 10, two in walk-off fashion en route to the AL West regular-season crown. The Astros finished second, seven games back.

All three Astros wins were in seven-inning affairs. The teams played two doubleheaders, one at each site.

The A's outscored the Astros 38-25 in the regular season, with the series gaining notoriety when Oakland outfielder Ramon Laureano charged the Houston dugout to confront Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron.

Laureano received a four-game suspension, while Cintron was banished for 20 games.

Matt Chapman, who sustained a torn left hip labrum on Sept. 6 and missed the final 23 games of the regular season, as well as both of Oakland's playoff series, crushed Astros pitching to the tune of a .450 average with three home runs and seven RBIs in five games.

Matt Olson also homered three times, three of the just four hits he had in 36 at-bats over 10 games against Houston.

Not counting the playoff game, in which he did not get a decision, Bassitt faced the Astros four times last season, going 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA.

He is 3-2 with a 3.53 ERA against Houston in his career in nine games, including eight starts.

"Based on what he accomplished last year, I think he probably would have been surprised if he wasn't the guy," A's manager Bob Melvin said of the announcement of his Opening Day pitcher. "He was appreciative. This kind of starts a different level for Chris Bassitt."

One guy Bassitt won't have to deal with this time around is George Springer, who holds the distinction of having hit the first major league home run ever allowed by the right-hander in April 2015.

Springer, who left Houston for a free agent offer from the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason, also was rough on A's pitching in the regular season last year, hitting .296 with two homers in seven games.

Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley all return for the Astros, however, and they combined for seven homers in the four-game playoff series. Correa went deep three times, and the other two had two homers apiece.

One difference between this season and last will be fans in attendance in Oakland.

Houston slugger Alex Bregman said, "I love that fans are back in the stands. Hopefully, as we get nearer toward the end of this virus, we can start to see higher capacities. I can't wait to play in front of fans again."

Greinke faced Oakland three times in the 2020 regular season, going 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA.

He is 9-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 21 games, including 17 starts, against the A's in his career.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 31, 2021

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