Houston vs. Oakland, 6:15 PM CT
RHP Lucas Harrell (3-5, 4.63 ERA / 1.65 WHIP) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (4-3/ 3.59 ERA / 1.21 WHIP)
The Astros once again appeared to have turned the proverbial corner, a winning record over their last seven games. Heading into the ninth, leading 5-3. Only to have the Astros closer, Jose Veras, blew his third save of the season - giving up a three-run homer to Chris Young. The loss prompted Astros fans to break out of more #AstrosMovies on twitter to drown their sorrows.
Dr. NO save(007) #astrosmovies
Veras Bueller's Day Off #AstrosMovies
Rocky Veras Picture Show #AstrosMovies
On to today's game, Lucas Harrell has had a bumpy May to say the least. In his last four starts he has given up eight, one, five, and one runs in that order. Minute Maid Park is has been unkind to the Astros righty, collecting an ERA (5.85) that is two runs higher then on the road. In his previous start against Oakland, Harrell had one of his worst outings of the year. He allowed 8 runs over 4 1/3 innings - Lowrie, Crisp, and Young all homered. The Astros hitters' only success against today's starter A.J. Griffin came in a single inning, in his previous start against Houston. Houston (Gonzalez, Altuve, Maxwell, Carter) strung together four hits resulting in 2 runs, but went hitless in Griffin's other five innings of work.
We have already talked about A.J. Griffin solid start against Houston on April 16, in Oakland. He has gotten even better in May, allowing only seven runs over four starts in the month. This includes seven innings of one-run ball against the Rangers. I expect the Astros lineup to be stacked with right-handed bats, even with the right-hander on the mound. Griffin has an ERA of 4.44 against righties compared to 2.87 against left-handed batters. Harrell will have to work hard against CoCo Crisp; the A's centerfielder worked him over for a double, homerun, and a walk in their last meeting.