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Series Preview: Astros @ Angels (Oh it’s you again)

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The Astros had to be the first series after the break??

MLB: All Star Game Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 49-48
Astros 64-35

I heard the Astros were good. So good they pretty much won the All Star Game on Tuesday. Rather Ironic that Dave Roberts and his Dodgers still can’t beat A.J. Hinch and his Astros. Go figure...

So the Astros are good and WAY out in front in first place - but the Angels are a .500 team against the Houston juggernaut, which is not a bad place to be. Houston has also lost 4 of their last 7 games, including 3 against the surging Athletics. Too bad the Angels have to face Justin Verlander in this series because he has been just plain cruel to the Angels in his career.

Welp. Here is some bad news about “unmarketable” star Mike Trout in this series. Against Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers, he has only 4 hits in 46 at bats (0.087 AVG). The good news, maybe? Both of Trout’s hits against Verlander have been home runs and 1 of his 2 hits against McCullers was a double.

Know your foe:
Astros - who’s hot (July):

Yuli Gurriel .375 AVG, 2 home runs, 15 RBIs
Alex Bregman .460 OBP, 4 home runs, 11 RBIs

Weather Forecast

GAME 1

Tyler Skaggs (2.57 ERA) v. Dallas Keuchel (3.75 ERA)
Friday, July 20th @ 7:07 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Notable Stats

Summary:

Believe the Skaggs hype not, he’s sporting a 2.7 WAR and 2.57 ERA in his 17 starts. He also held Houston scoreless back in April through 7 innings with only 4 hits allowed. Skaggs hasn’t given up more than 1 run in a start since May 28th.

Pitch Arsenal:

For some reason, it feels like Keuchel hasn’t pitched much this year, but he has. Perhaps it’s because he’s been knocked around a little this year, including a pretty bad June. However, Keuchel has allowed only 3 runs over his last 20 innings. This will be his first time facing the Angels this year.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: Should be a good matchup and one of the more favorable ones for the Angels sin this series.


GAME 2

Nick Tropeano (4.83 ERA) v. Justin Verlander (2.29 ERA)
Saturday, July 21st @ 4:15 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Good news - Nick Tropeano is back. Bad news - he has to face Verlander. Tropeano has only made 10 starts this year with pretty mixed results. He’s made it through the 6th innings only 3 times this year and lost to the Astros back in April when he faced: Justin Verlander.

Pitch Arsenal:

Justin Verlander is coming off a “rough” start in which he allowed 5 runs to the Tigers but still struck out 12. He’s faced the Angels twice this year (including a complete game) and has allowed only 2 runs and 9 hits over 16 innings. Rough indeed.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: Not too hard to figure out the probably result in this one.


GAME 3

Andrew Heaney (3.78 ERA) v. Lance McCrullers Jr. (3.77 ERA)
Sunday, July 22nd @ 1:07 PM

Pitcher vs. Batters

Summary:

Andrew Heaney flat out dominated the Astros back in May with 10 Ks and just 1 run allowed through 8 innings. He’s also coming off back to back starts against the Dodgers and gave up only 5 runs through 13.1 innings while striking out 16.

Pitch Arsenal:

McCullers took the loss against the Angels earlier this year despite allowing only 4 hits and 2 runs over 6 innings. The reason he took that loss? Because Andrew Heaney was busy striking out 10 and allowing only a single run.

Pitch Arsenal:

Verdict: Probably the middle best game for the Angels and hopefully Heaney can be that dominate against Houston again.


Overall Verdict: The Angels need to take game 1 to have a shot at this series. The could pick up game 3 as well but don’t be overly optimistic for a series win unless their bats are hot.

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