ANGELS @ ASTROS
June 9-11, 2017
The Astros return to Fort Minute Maid for a nine-game homestand against the A’s, Rangers, and Red Sox. The infirmary is getting pretty crowded.
What happened in the last series?
The Angels (31-32) just finished up a .500 road trip, winning three-game series in Atlanta and Detroit and losing a four-game set in Minnesota. They have played .500 ball since the Astros came to Anaheim in early May and took two out of three from them. The Angels are still hanging near the top 10 in team ERA, but the offense is in the bottom 10 in a number of categories. Losing Mike Trout won’t help that.
The Astros (43-18) split the series in Kansas City, their first series split of the year. If you’d told me on Monday morning that Houston was starting Paulino and Fiers in the series and that Dallas Keuchel would miss his start, I’d be happy with a 2-2 split. Really should’ve been 3-1 but I’m not going to dwell on that too much with a 13-game lead in the division and a 7-game lead for the top seed in the AL.
Friday, June 9 – 7:10pm CDT
Matt Shoemaker (5-3, 4.12) vs. Brad Peacock (3-0, 2.30)
The Astros have already handed Shoemaker two L’s this year. The last one came in a 6 IP, 5 ER outing that the Angels lost 5-3, highlighted by a 3-run Altuve jack in the 3rd.
Peacock turned in another nice start against the Rainjizz, earning his third win in a quality start. While still in the bullpen he pitched two perfect innings with 3 K’s when the Angels came to town in April.
Saturday, June 10 – 3:10pm CDT
Ricky Nolasco (2-6, 5.05) vs. Mike Fiers (3-2, 4.84)
The Angels have lost seven straight games when Nolasco has been on the mound, and he has four straight losing decisions in as many starts. The worst of those was a disastrous start against the Braves where he faced 17 batters in 2.2 innings and gave up six runs. He did not face the Astros in May but did pitch a quality start against them in April, which the Angels won 5-2.
Don’t look now, but Fiers has gone two straight starts without allowing a home run and has also picked up two straight wins. Fiers was the opposing (and winning) pitcher in Shoemaker’s 5-3 loss mentioned above.
Sunday, June 11 – 1:10pm CDT
Jesse Chavez (5-6, 4.56) vs. David Paulino (0-0, 4.66)
Chavez was in line for a loss in May’s series opener before Keuchel and Giles let a 6-2 lead slip away in the 9th inning. In his starts since then, he’s notched two quality starts, fallen one out shy of two more, and given up five runs twice (one of which he won anyway).
Paulino hasn’t factored into a decision yet this season, but he deserved one in Kansas City. In his only career work against the Angels last year he pitched three innings of one-hit scoreless relief.