June 28 5:10pm, June 29 1:10pm, June 30 11:10am
Plain and simple: the Angels must avoid faltering again against the Astros. This season the Halos are a meager 3-7 against the lowest payroll in baseball. At the start of June, Houston swept Anaheim in a four game set which occurred on the heels of the Angels hot end of May. Now, after sweeping the Tigers, Mike Trout & Co. want to continue their win streak against Bo Porter's club.
Bud Norris heads to the hill for the first game of this weekend series and he's facing Jerome Williams. In his three starts against the Angels this season, Norris has won each game -- averaging seven innings and allowing just one run. For the Halos, long-relief pitcher and starter Jerome Williams gets the ball. Williams, while being bruised in his last game with the Pirates, has been one of the Halos more consistent performers on the hill. And of course, Joe Blanton will be pitching. But I have to give credit where credit is due: Blanton was very impressive (for his standards) in his last two starts. Then C.J. will look for win number eight on Sunday.
Angels pitching will face two notables of the Astros -- Chris Carter and Jose Altuve. Last time I warned the Halos about Carter, he blasted them. So Halos, I'm warning you about Chris Carter. As for Altuve, he's the Astros speedy and tiny second baseman who is batting .297 with a team leading total of 17 stolen bases.
Throughout this match-up, Josh Hamilton has had nearly half of his home runs against this club. Well, here's "this club" again. So make it happen Hamilton! Albert Pujols is just twelve home runs shy of the big five-hundred, so maybe he'll get them over the closely-placed left field wall at Minute Maid Park.
All of the match-ups will be on FOX Sports West and Comcast Sportsnet Houston. Sunday's game can also be seen for FREE on MLB TV with their Free Game of the Day! Enjoy the weekend! Go Halos!