ASTROS @ A’S
September 7-9, 2017
Magic Numbers (games as of 9/6)
To clinch AL West: 9
To clinch AL top seed: 21 (no thanks to the Indians)
What happened in the last series?
Maybins Astros (86-53) swept the M’s in Seattle and have won seven straight games.
The A’s (59-80) salvaged one game of their series with the Angels after losing eight straight games.
This is the last meeting between the two teams in 2017, with Houston having a slight upper hand (12-3) on the season series.
Friday, September 8 – 9:05pm CDT
Collin McHugh (2-2, 3.25) vs. Jharel Cotton (7-10, 5.53)
McHugh didn’t last through five innings against the Rangers in Tampa but still pitched effectively, allowing only one unearned run in a game the Astros went on to win. His start against the A’s nearly a month ago was his best of the season so far, with six scoreless innings en route to his first win.
Cotton has allowed nine home runs over his last five starts, and three of them most recently against the Mariners. The Astros are 1-1 against him this season, with the loss coming a few weeks ago as he pitched just his fifth quality start of the year.
Saturday, September 9 – 3:05pm CDT
Charlie Morton (11-6, 3.87) vs. Daniel Mengden (0-1, 10.13)
Morton held the Mets to just two runs over five innings and picked up the win in last weekend’s opening game in Houston. He has not started against the A’s since April, when he gave up four runs but struck out a season-high 12 batters over seven innings.
Mengden is making just his third start of the year. His two games in late May and early June were just spot starts while Kendall Graveman was on the DL. After that he moved back down to AAA where he was 2-4 with a 4.17 ERA this season. Mengden did make 14 starts in 2016, though, and three of them were against the Astros; in those three starts he was 0-2 with a 7.63 ERA.
Saturday, September 9 – 6:30pm CDT
Brad Peacock (10-2, 3.05) vs. Daniel Gossett (3-8, 5.32)
Peacock pitched one-run ball over 5.1 innings against the Mets in the nightcap of last week’s doubleheader. In three starts against Oakland this year he is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 23 strikeouts.
The Astros faced Gossett in his second and fourth starts of his career in June, handing him two losses despite one of them being a pretty decent quality start. He went back down to the minors for three weeks in August and has not been great since then: in those three starts he has a 5.87 ERA and a 2.087 WHIP. This was not aided by his most recent start, where he allowed seven hits and five walks to the Mariners in just 3.2 innings.
Sunday, September 10 – 3:05pm CDT
Dallas Keuchel (12-3, 2.88) vs. Kendall Graveman (4-4, 4.70)
Keuchel came one out shy of eight innings against the Mariners on Monday. His 2017 starts against Oakland… do not bode well for him: he is 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 0.692 WHIP against the A’s.
As mentioned before, Graveman missed time early in the season with shoulder inflammation, then missed all of June and July due to another flareup. He’s been kind of erratic since then: he strung together three straight quality starts – including against the Astros – but he’s allowed nine runs in ten innings over his last two starts. Overall, Graveman has done well against Houston this year, with a 2.46 ERA in two starts, but no wins to show for it.