Astros News

Astros go for ALDS sweep with Zack Greinke up against Charlie Morton

bmurray
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25: Starter Zack Greinke #21 of the Houston Astros during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 25, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25: Starter Zack Greinke #21 of the Houston Astros during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 25, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Zack Greinke, the Astros late-season addition, will face off against former Astro Charlie Morton in their attempt to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.

The Astros couldn’t have expected anything more from Zack Greinke when they acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks just before the trade deadline expired. But he’ll be on a bigger stage this afternoon, starting game three of the ALDS playoff game as Houston attempts to eliminate the Rays from the playoffs.

This series against Tampa Bay has been dominated by the Astros starting pitching and it won’t get any easier this afternoon. Greinke will be taking the mound today with an overall record of 18-5 and a 2.93 ERA. He has appeared in ten games since his arrival to Houston and has gone 8-2, sporting an ERA of 3.02 over that span.

In Greinke’s 16-year career he has faced the Rays 17 times, starting 14 of those. He hasn’t had great success against Tampa in the past going 4-6 with a 3.36 ERA. To make things worse, Greinke has had miserable results pitching in Tropicana Field. He has yet to win a game at Tampa, losing four of his five appearances there.

But on the bright side, most of the Rays current lineup hasn’t had much success against Greinke with catcher Travis d’Arnaud and Yandy Diaz the only two batters with three or more batting attempts and an average above .225.

Charlie Morton has the same 4-6 career record against the Astros in his 12 years in the Majors, but has a lofty 6.28 ERA in his 11 starts versus Houston. The Astros have gone up against Morton twice this season splitting the games with one win and one loss. As recently as August 27, they knocked Morton out early after allowing six runs in four innings.

Six of the Astros batters have a BA of .333 or above facing Morton. Catcher Martin Maldonado has had the most experience and success against Morton going 7-for-13 for a .538 average.

Astros: Five takeaways from Saturday’s ALDS Game Two. dark. Next

It’s a tough act to follow up after Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole pitch two gems against the Rays, but I think Greinke is up to the task. If the Astros can get to Morton early as they did in their last matchup, Greinke should have an easy time of it and complete the sweep to move onto the ALCS.

facebooktwitterreddit