|HOUSTON ( KEUCHEL )|
TEXAS ( CASHNER )
|973||HOUSTON||-135||Ov 10.5,-110||-135||Ov 11,-115|
|974||TEXAS||+125||Un 10.5,-110||+125||Un 11,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||56-27||+20||44-33||5.8||0.289||0.346||0.487||0.833||4.4||0.238||0.307||0.398||0.705|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-9.1||2-4||3.6||0.243||0.315||0.381||0.696||6.0||0.289||0.368||0.431||0.799|
|vs Left-handed Starters||13-12||+1.8||9-14||4.8||0.241||0.298||0.410||0.708||4.3||0.248||0.321||0.385||0.706|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.2||2-3||5.1||0.252||0.319||0.423||0.742||4.0||0.207||0.281||0.385||0.666|
|7/30/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||1-13||L||-110||9.5 un||O||7||9||1||15||9||0|
|7/31/2017||MORTON(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||14-7||W||-145||9 un||O||17||9||0||7||7||1|
|8/1/2017||FIERS(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||4-6||L||+105||8.5 ev||O||7||4||0||12||7||0|
|8/2/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||TAMPA BAY||PRUITT(R)||0-3||L||-185||8.5 ev||U||5||7||1||9||10||1|
|8/3/2017||MCHUGH(R)||TAMPA BAY||SNELL(L)||3-5||L||-140||9.5 un||U||9||6||3||8||10||0|
|8/8/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||HOLLAND(L)||5-8||L||-250||9.5 ov||O||9||10||0||13||9||0|
|8/9/2017||MCHUGH(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||GONZALEZ(R)||1-7||L||-210||10 ov||U||6||7||1||11||5||1|
|8/10/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||RODON(L)||2-3||L||-150||9.5 un||U||12||9||2||11||14||2|
|8/11/2017||MORTON(R)||@ TEXAS||HAMELS(L)||4-6||L||-120||10.5 ov||U||8||8||1||10||7||0|
|8/12/2017||FIERS(R)||@ TEXAS||ROSS(R)||3-8||L||-115||11 ov||P||4||7||0||9||6||2|
|8/13/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ TEXAS||CASHNER(R)|| |
|8/14/2017||MCHUGH(R)||@ ARIZONA||GREINKE(R)|| |
|8/15/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ ARIZONA||BANDA(L)|| |
|8/20/2017|| ||OAKLAND|| || |
|8/3/2017||GRIFFIN(R)||@ MINNESOTA||MEJIA(L)||4-1||W||110||9.5 ov||U||9||9||0||3||3||1|
|8/4/2017||PEREZ(L)||@ MINNESOTA||COLON(R)||4-8||L||-105||10.5 un||O||9||5||1||12||7||0|
|8/5/2017||HAMELS(L)||@ MINNESOTA||GIBSON(R)||4-1||W||-125||9.5 ev||U||8||6||1||4||2||0|
|8/6/2017||MARTINEZ(R)||@ MINNESOTA||BERRIOS(R)||5-6||L||125||10.5 un||O||7||5||0||7||3||0|
|8/8/2017||GRIFFIN(R)||@ NY METS||FLEXEN(R)||4-5||L||100||9 ov||P||6||5||0||6||4||0|
|8/9/2017||PEREZ(L)||@ NY METS||MONTERO(R)||5-1||W||105||9.5 un||U||10||15||0||3||2||0|
|8/17/2017||ROSS(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||LOPEZ(R)|| |
|8/18/2017||CASHNER(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|8/19/2017||PEREZ(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||HOLLAND(L)|| |
|8/20/2017|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|HOUSTON: 2016: 84-78, third place
Manager: A.J. Hinch (third season)
Who's new? RF Josh Reddick, CF Carlos Beltran, LF Nori Aoki, C Brian McCann, RHP Charlie Morton
Who's gone? C Jason Castro, INF Luis Valbuena, OF Colby Rasmus, RHP Doug Fister
Projected lineup: CF George Springer (.261, 29 HR, 82 RBI), 2B Jose Altuve (.338, 24, 96, 30 SB), SS Carlos Correa (.274, 20, 96, 13 SB), DH Carlos Beltran (.295, 29, 93 with Yankees and Rangers), C Brian McCann (.242, 20, 58 with Yankees) or Evan Gattis (.251, 32, 72), 3B Alex Bregman (.264, 8, 34 in 49 games), RF Josh Reddick (.281, 10, 37 with A's and Dodgers), 1B Yulieski Gurriel (.262, 3, 15), LF Nori Aoki (.283, 4, 28 with Mariners)
Rotation: LH Dallas Keuchel (9-12, 4.55 ERA), RH Collin McHugh (13-10, 4.34), RH Mike Fiers (11-8, 4.48), RH Lance McCullers (6-5, 3.22), RH Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.15 in four games with Phillies)
Key relievers: RH Ken Giles (2-5, 4.11, 15/20 SV), RH Luke Gregerson (4-3, 3.28, 15/21 SV), RH Will Harris (1-2, 2.25, 12/15 SV), RH Chris Devenski (4-4, 2.16), LH Tony Sipp (1-2, 4.95), RH Michael Feliz (8-1, 4.43)
Hot spots: Fifth starter and catcher. Hamstring issues limited 33-year-old Morton to four starts with the Phillies last season. That didn't stop the Astros from signing him to a two-year contract worth at least $14 million. Now, veteran Fiers and 24-year-old Joe Musgrove are on the bubble for the fifth starter's job. McCann and Gattis give the Astros a pair of veteran catchers with slugging potential. McCann has fewer weaknesses behind the plate; Gattis is the better all-around hitter. With Beltran aboard as the primary designated hitter, McCann and Gattis won't both be in the lineup on most nights.
Outlook: After slipping to third place in the AL West last year, the Astros' front office decided to double down on dingers rather than upgrade a rotation that lacks a true ace. The result: A lineup with eight potential 20-home run hitters, including possible MVP candidates in Altuve and Correa. Everyone returns from an impressive young bullpen with high strikeout potential. If the Astros are in contention by the trade deadline, the front office should have the financial flexibility to add a front-line starter. Then again, if Dallas Keuchel looks like the pitcher who won a Cy Young Award in 2015, Houston might not have a problem.
|TEXAS: 2016: 95-67, first place
Manager: Jeff Banister (third season)
Who's new? 1B Mike Napoli, 1B James Loney, INF Will Middlebrooks, RHP Andrew Cashner, RHP Tyson Ross, RHP Mike Hauschild
Who's gone? 1B Mitch Moreland, INF/OF Ian Desmond, OF/DH Carlos Beltran, RHP Derek Holland, RHP Colby Lewis, RHP Shawn Tolleson, RHP Lucas Harrell
Projected lineup: CF Carlos Gomez (.231, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 18 SB in 118 games with Astros and Rangers), DH Shin-Soo Choo (.242, 7, 17, 6 in 48 games), 3B Adrian Beltre (.300, 32, 104), 1B Mike Napoli (.239, 34, 101 with Indians), 2B Rougned Odor (.271, 33, 88, 14 SB), C Jonathan Lucroy (.292, 24, 81 with Brewers and Rangers), RF Nomar Mazara (.266, 20, 64), SS Elvis Andrus (.302, 8, 69, 24 SB), LF Jurickson Profar (.239, 5, 20) or Ryan Rua (.258, 8, 22, 9 SB)
Rotation: LH Cole Hamels (15-5, 3.32 ERA), RH Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.42 in 17 games), LH Martin Perez (10-11, 4.39), RH A.J. Griffin (7-4, 5.07), RH Andrew Cashner (5-11, 5.25 with Padres and Marlins)
Key relievers: RH Sam Dyson (3-2, 2.43, 38/43 SV), RH Matt Bush (7-2, 2.48), RH Jeremy Jeffress (27/28 SV with Brewers and Rangers), RH Tony Barnette (7-3, 2.09), LH Alex Claudio (4-1, 2.79), RH Keone Kela (5-1, 6.09)
Hot spots: Designated hitter and left field. Choo, Napoli and Joey Gallo are all candidates to DH. Gallo, a perennial prospect with prodigious power, can make it interesting by seizing his first-ever Opening Day roster spot. Otherwise Napoli (a first baseman) and Choo (an outfielder) can switch off as needed. Moving Desmond to the outfield was successful enough last year that the Rangers are taking a similar approach with Profar. The oft-injured 24-year-old will try to break camp as a left fielder, platooning with Rua.
Outlook: Coming off back-to-back division titles, the Rangers begin 2017 with a weakened farm system and the footsteps of the Astros and Mariners passing them by ' or at least catching up. There's still a lot to like here. Napoli was a huge bargain on a $6 million contract following his 34-homer season in Cleveland. He'll join Beltre and Odor to form a dangerous middle of the order. Darvish is entering his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, and he and catcher Lucroy are entering their long-awaited walk years. This isn't the deepest roster in the AL but it's capable of winning another division title if its stars can avoid the disabled list.
|Astros look to end skid vs. Rangers|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- To the starting pitchers for Sunday's series finale between the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, one thing has been a problem of late.
It has not been mechanics, unlucky pitch selection or misplays in the field. Instead, something much more organic and annoying has been at fault: their necks.
Texas righty Andrew Cashner (7-8, 3.36 ERA) was scratched from his last start, which was scheduled for Tuesday in New York against the Mets, with neck stiffness. He couldn't even turn his head when he woke up, so he couldn't pitch. That, at least temporarily, put a hold on Cashner's hot streak. He has won three games in a row, matching the longest streak of his career. Over those three games, he holds a 2.37 ERA and has limited opponents to a .217 batting average.
He'll get a chance to keep that going on Sunday against the team with the best record in the American League, and the Rangers will aim to sweep the Astros after Houston did the same to Texas back in June the last time these teams met in Arlington.
"It's doing all right," Cashner said of his neck stiffness. "I have been seeing a chiropractor and it's feeling better. I'll be able to make my start."
Cashner has made three starts against Houston this year, but he's gone 0-3 with a 6.19 ERA in those outings. In 13 career appearances against the Astros, including five starts, Cashner is 2-5 with 4.89 ERA.
Since July, Cashner holds an overall 2.20 ERA, fifth-lowest mark in the American League behind James Paxton, Sonny Gray, Corey Kluber and Chris Sale.
On the other side of the equation is Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel (9-2, 2.87), who is in the midst of a rough stretch since returning from his own neck issues. He missed eight weeks with neck discomfort, but he returned on July 28.
In the three starts since coming off the disabled list, Keuchel is 0-2 with a 10.50 ERA, not at all resembling the dominant pitcher he was for the first few months of the season, when he had a 1.92 ERA in 12 starts.
However, Keuchel said he is feeling better after his most recent start than he did between any of those first three starts since returning.
"This is probably the best three or four days in between (starts) since the first couple of months," he told MLB.com. "I have no doubt tomorrow's going to be a lot better than the first three."
In his 19 career starts against Texas, Keuchel is 6-7 with a 4.04 ERA. He threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, while getting the win in his only start against the Rangers this season.
It'll be a hot one Sunday, as day games in Arlington aren't the friendliest conditions to play in, especially in an outdoor stadium.
"Luckily I've had a few experiences before here making day-game starts," Keuchel said. "It's like any other hot, humid place. You just kind of try to get used to it. I was out there for longer than I usually am yesterday breaking out a good sweat and doing some agilities and making sure I'm running out there and just trying to control my breathing. It's a tough place if you let it get into your mind."
He'll aim to right the ship for the Astros, who have been roughed up as of late. They have lost five straight games to begin their eight-game road trip and 11 of their last 14, including seven consecutive road games.
"Hopefully Dallas can get us back on track (Sunday), but it starts with the starting pitcher," Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, who struggled with fastball command Saturday, told MLB.com. "I think we need to really go out there and attack these hitters and not give them too much credit and just be aggressive and things will start turning our way. It's a rough stretch right now, but we'll be able to pull through and go back on a run."
|Last Updated: 10/18/2017 6:53:42 PM EST|