Astros: Previewing the Red Sox series with Buster Olney

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Jun 14, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrates with catcher Brian McCann (16) after scoring a run during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrates with catcher Brian McCann (16) after scoring a run during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Matchups

Jun 10, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers (54) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 10, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers (54) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

While the playoff matchups won’t be determined this weekend, it’s a big series for both sides. The Red Sox need to catch up to the Yankees, and the Astros need to maintain a sizable lead. With such a big matchup, let’s look at the probable pitchers.

The good news is that the Astros missed Chris Sale, but we do face some other semi-experienced players. I exaggerate a little.

Tonight, Mike Fiers will face Drew Pomeranz. Less than a month ago, Fiers was told he would pitch out of the bullpen. After Morton had gone down with injury, Fiers took full opportunity of his second chance. After having an ERA mid 5.00, Fiers lowered it to a respectable 4.29. He is now 4-2 with 58 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched. Pomeranz is 6-4 with a 4.69 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings.

Tomorrow, David Paulino will face last year’s Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello. Like Pomeranz, Porcello is not having that good a season with a 3-8 record with a 4.67 ERA. He does have 82 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings. Unfortunately, Paulino has struggled going deep into games with a 6.59 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. Paulino has pitched three times, only last four innings twice.

On Fathers Day Sunday, Musgrove will face David Price. While Price is a good pitcher, he is struggling a little this year with a 5.09 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 23 innings. Price is battling some blister issues at the moment, but he is expected to pitch Sunday. Musgrove is 4-5 with a 4.81 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 58 innings. After coming off the DL, Musgrove only lasted 4 2/3 innings versus the Rangers.

Looking at the team stats, the Astros and Red Sox are close to most statistical measurements. One of the outliers is the Red Sox are last in the American League with only 63 homers compared to the Astros 103. Houston’s batting average is .277 with an OPS of .813 versus Boston’s .757 OPS. Houston has scored 366 runs this year compared to the Red Sox’s 313. Without David Ortiz, the Sox are not as powerful.

The pitching department is a little evener. While the Astros have a better ERA at 3.72 compared to the Red Sox’s 3.90, the Sox have more quality starts wth 36 to 29. This is most likely due to the veteran presence the Red Sox have in their rotation. Not known as a strikeout team in the past, the Stros are first with 686 strikeouts this year.

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