Who should Garcia watch out for?
The Astros three-hole hitter seems to have a different offensive approach against left-handed pitchers. In 24 at-bats, Altuve is hitting .250 with a 1.004 OPS, .188 points higher than he is against right-handed pitchers. That is because of the increased amount of power in his bat. Of his six hits, three of them are home runs, driving in five RBIs while scoring himself three times. Also, five of his 12 walks this season is against southpaw pitchers.
Also, Altuve has found success against Garcia in the past. The second baseman has nine hits against the former Cardinal in 19 at bats with three runs scored and two RBIs. However, only one of his nine hits has been for extra bases.
The Astros’ utility man is having a career month after hitting four home runs in the first five games in May. He has been doing well against left-handed pitchers also. In 19 at-bats, Gonzalez is hitting .263 with a 1.128 OPS. Three of his five hits against southpaws have been home runs, driving in six RBIs while scoring himself four times.
Gonzalez seems to be in a good position to continue this month’s success against Garcia. In four at-bats against him in 2016, he had three hits including a double and a home run, driving in two RBIs and scoring once himself.
If the Astros want success against Garcia, the team will have to do what it has been doing against left-handed pitchers: be patient, not being afraid to walk, and hitting the long ball.
***Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs, MLB.com and ESPN.com***