ASTROS @ ANGELS
September 12-14, 2017
Last 9pm CDT starts of the regular season.
To clinch AL West: 7
To clinch AL top seed: fuck.
What happened in the last series?
Didn’t see that coming. The Astros (86-57) turned in some truly gutless performances in Oakland, getting outscored 40-15 in a four-game sweep at the hands of the AL’s worst team. The pitching staff issued 25 walks (including 13 in Saturday’s matinee) and the bullpen turned in a righteous 20.61 ERA for the weekend. Barely anyone who took the field escaped this smooth buttfucking looking good. Here’s hoping that this was just the cleanse to get this shit out of their system.
The Angels (73-70) fared a little better, dropping two of three in Seattle. They are one game behind Minnesota for the second wild card spot.
Tuesday, September 12 – 9:07pm CDT
Justin Verlander (11-8, 3.74) vs. Garrett Richards (0-0, 1.13)
Verlander held the Mariners to one run over six innings in his Astros debut. He has only faced the Angels once this season, a 4-1 loss where he accounted for all four earned runs over six innings. He has historically done well against Angels hitters, though; cumulatively their lineup is .182/.273/.284 against him, and only Trout and Pujols have an OPS better than .700 when he’s on the mound.
If it weren’t for the Angels being in the wild card mix, Richards probably wouldn’t be pitching now. He pitched on April 5 and then went on the disabled list with a strained bicep until last week His first start back only saw him throw 52 pitches, and you have to figure he won’t go terribly deep into this game. Due to his injury-shortened 2016 season he has not pitched against the Astros since 2015, when he was 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA against them.
Wednesday, September 13 – 9:07pm CDT
Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3, 3.97) vs. Tyler Skaggs (1-5, 4.86)
McCullers fell two outs short of a quality start against the Mariners in his first start since July. In 13.2 innings over two starts this year he has not allowed an earned run to the Angels.
Since Houston faced Skaggs on August 26 and touched him up for five runs in five innings, he got torched by the Rangers and then tossed a quality start in a losing effort to the A’s.
Thursday, September 14 – 9:07pm CDT
Brad Peacock (10-2, 3.05) vs. Ricky Nolasco (6-13, 5.19)
Peacock is one of the few that didn’t participate in much of this past weekend’s dickstepping, striking out nine while walking none and allowing only one run. He held the Angels to one run over six innings in August, and in June he gave up four runs over three innings.
After two good starts against the Astros earlier in the year, they finally got him for more than two runs at a time in August. Since then he’s clocked a 6.75 ERA for the month of September against the Rangers and Mariners.