After six relief appearances, Devenski has earned his curtain call as a major league starter. Devenski has been a starter in the minors, but after the Astros early pitching struggles, Devenski was called to be a long relief man and has turned out to be one of, if not the most, reliable arms in the Houston bullpen. He owns an incredible 0.00 ERA and 0.87 WHIP and has stymied hitters, especially left-handed batters.
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His unconventional delivery style has lefties batting only .110 while righties are hitting .310. “Devo” will need to keep in mind that in his relief appearances, he faced the same hitter only once, maybe twice. It will be interesting to see how opponents fare against him three or four times around the order. Last year in AA Corpus Christi he went 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA.
Graveman is a ground ball machine. Over his career, more than 50% of batted balls have been grounders, and he features a heavy sinker that averages around 90 mph, along with a cutter. He does mix in some curves and changeups as well. His last outing was by far his worst of the year, giving up ten hits and six earned runs against Detroit.
Things won’t get easier for the A’s pitcher as current Astros are hitting a combined .357 against Graveman, with Altuve taking him deep once. One stat that does bode well for Graveman against a Houston team which has struggled to hit with runners in scoring position is that over his career he holds hitters to a .227 RISP average.
Game Prediction: Astros 4 – A’s 2
Next: Game 3