St. Louis at Houston, 7:10 pm (CT)
TV: CSN Houston
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010
Cardinals SBNation Blog: Viva El Birdos
RHP Lucas Harrell (5-7 / 4.32 ERA / 1.53 WHIP) vs. RHP Jake Westbrook (3-2 / 1.76 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)
Who would you pick if asked, 'who is the Astros' biggest rival?' Most would probably say the Braves or Cardinals. Some might say the Rangers, but those fans were strapped to the 'Clockwork Orange' chair by Bud Selig until they couldn't take it anymore. The taste of a bitter rivalry still lingers when I think of the St. Louis Cardinals. Soon, it will fade like so many rivalries before it.
The Cardinals are coming off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Rangers, but they are still holding off the Pirates by one in the National League Central race. Jake Westbrook takes the mound for the Cardinals, this will be his third start since returning from the disabled list with an elbow inflammation. In his last start, the right-hander induced 15 ground ball outs against the Cubs. Westbrook last 6 innings and gave up only 1 run in that start. In one 2012 start against the Astros, Westbrook gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings of work. Jose Altuve is batting .429 lifetime against Westbrook. Brett Wallace couldn't have had better timing, he is batting .500 against Westbrook in 14 career bat-bats.
Lucas Harrell is making his third straight start at home, the right-hander has a 5.25 ERA in those two previous starts. Harrell was 2-3 in 5 starts against St. Louis last season, collecting a 5.67 ERA. The heart of the Red Birds' order are batting around .500 with 10+ at-bats lifetime against Harrell - Allen Craig (.462), David Freese (.500), and Yadier Molina (.582).