Los Angeles of Anaheim , 9:05 pm (CT)
How the mighty have fallen? Both Angels and Astros have the same number of wins over their last ten games, three. How could a team with Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Trout. Injures and terrible pitching is an easy answer to the question. Jered Weaver,Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson, Peter Bourjos, Albert Pujols, and Howie Kendrick have all spent time on the Disabled List. The icing on the cake, the only team with a higher team ERA in the Major Leagues then the Angels (4.48 ERA) is the Astros (4.87 ERA).
The Angels offense is still in the top five in the American League in batting average (.265), on-base percentage (.331), and slugging percentage (.417). Since the All-Star break, Mike Trout has been Mike Trout. He is batting .367 (33-90) with six home runs, 19 runs batted in, 27 walks, and six stolen bases. Grant Green and Josh Hamilton have been hot over their last seven starts. Green is batting .429 (9-21) in those seven games. Hamilton is batting .379 (11-29) with four extra-base hits, and seven runs batted.
Former Astro farmhand, J.B. Shuck continues to hit his way into the lineup. He checks in at .333 (10-30) with four runs batted in and a stolen base over his last seven starts. Kole Calhoun is batting under under .100 in his last 21 at-bats. Mark Trumbo is batting .204 since the All-Star break with five home runs and 18 runs batted in.
Jerome Williams will be making his third start against Houston, tonight. He is 0-1 in his previous two starts, allowing only three runs over 13.1 innings, striking out nine, and walking six. Thus far in August, the right-hander has a 7.36 ERA over 11 innings against Texas and Cleveland. Williams may be better served with a return to the bullpen, as a starter he has a 5.52 ERA and 2.60 ERA out of the pen. At Angels stadium, he has 5.37 ERA, compared to a 4.35 ERA on the road.
The only Astro with any repeat success against Williams is J.D. Martinez, he is not much help in Florida for rehab. Both Chris Carter and Jason Castro have a home run off tonight's Angels starter. Brett Wallace and Brandon Barnes have failed to get a hit in their previous meetings. Jose Altuve is 1-for-5 with a strike out.
Jonathan Villar appears to be back on the right track, after a brief slump - batting .308 (4-13) with a walk and stolen base. #DeathByCatcher is full effect, Carlos Corporan and Castro are each batting .400 with a home run in their last four starts respectfully. L.J. Hoes has two stolen bases over the last six times he's reached base.
Brad Peacock is making his third start since returning to the rotation on August 4. He has given up four runs over 13 innings of work, striking out 15 and walking six. In his one appearance this season against the Angels, he gave up two runs in 1.1 relief innings. Peacock gave up a two-run home run to the Angels' back-up catcher, Hank Conger. The home run made the Astros' June 2 win over the Angels a bit closer - 5-4.