Houston vs. Kansas City, 7:10 PM CDT
RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 3.55 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 3.75 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
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Jeremy Guthrie revitalized his career in Kansas City to become a solid back of the rotation starter. He pitches to contact with a sinker-slider combo. Guthrie posted a 4.72 K/9 rate in 2013 (country of FanGraphs), and 4.79 FIP compared to a 4.04 ERA. The Royals played great defense behind Guthrie in 2013, but it can't always be expected.
No surprise the best hitter against Guthrie career wise is Jason Castro, the left-handed catcher is 3-for-8 with a triple and home run. Matt Dominguez is 1-for-2 with a home run in his career as well.
Dallas Keuchel has been up and down in his first two starts. Giving up four runs in his first start against the Angels and only one over seven innings in Toronto for the team's only win north of the border. On May 20, 2013, Keuchel went 6.2 innings against the Royals allowing four runs on nine hits and four walks.
Norichika Aoki is 3-for-8 with a double against the Arkansas product. Eric Hosmer checks in with two hits in three at-bats against the left-hander.
The Astros' pitching staff kept the team within striking distance yesterday, but the offense failed again to muster more than four hits. The Astros hope to turn their fortunes around with Dallas Keuchel on the mound. I must stop here -
Who am I kidding, the story isn't about the pitching today? IT'S #SpringerDay. George Springer will make his first major league start today.
If you don't know who George Springer is (yes, I know most of you do) let's refresh your memory. Springer was drafted by the Astros in the 2011 draft with the 11th overall pick. He was selected out of the University of Connecticut by former General Manager Ed Wade and Assistant General Manager/ Director of Scouting Bobby Heck. This past season, he came close to joining the 40-40 club during his time between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City - hit .303 (149x492) with 27 doubles, 37 home runs, 108 RBI and 45 stolen bases.
Springer will be batting in the two-hole tonight. He was currently batting .361 (13-36) against right-handed pitchers with six extra base hits in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
A few other notes about player not named George Springer-
- Dexter Fowler is batting .438 (7-16) with five extra-base hits at home this season.
- Jason Castro is back at catcher after three days at designated hitter to rest a alling toe.
- Keuchel ranks 2nd in the Majors in groundball to flyball ratio (2.50) since 2013.