GAME 3 – Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 2.18) vs. A.J. Griffin (1-0, 3.27)
After two games of unusual control issues, Keuchel delivered a gem against a stout Detroit offense. Keuchel earned his second victory of the year, pitching eight innings of shutout baseball. After allowing ten walks in the previous two games, Keuchel allowed only one free pass and struck out four Tiger batters.
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It was vintage Keuchel, getting whiffs on off-speed pitches, and spotting his fastball with precision. Keuchel will look to avenge his last outing in Globe Life Park, where he was blasted for nine runs in 4.2 innings while giving up three home runs. He holds a career record of 4-4 versus Texas and a 6.35 ERA at the Rangers’ home field.
Griffin continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery, making his third start of the season. Although his ERA and record look good, he has given up nine hits and six walks in 11 innings thus far and has been fortunate enough to escape some jams. He has also only given up one home run thus far, and that will be key for him moving forward. If Griffin can keep the ball in the yard, he’s got good enough stuff to get some strikeouts and win games. This spring he gave up six home runs in 18 innings.
Prediction: Astros 5- Rangers 3
2016 Prediction Record (6-7)
Look for a fun-filled series between these two clubs. There will be a lot of emotion both on the field and in the stands, and with two lopsided pitching matchups in games two and three, this series could be decided in game one.
** Stats from Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs **