New York (AL) at Houston, 7:10 p.m. (CT)
LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-5/ 2.76 ERA / 1.10 WHIP in 2013) vs. RHP Ivan Nova (9-6/ 3.10 ERA / 1.28 WHIP in 2013)
The Astros face the Yankees for the third and final time this series, hoping to give Derek Jeter and the boys one final parting gift. If (that's a big if) it does happen, the Yankees will have been swept in their opening series two of the last three years. Brett Oberholtzer and Ivan Nova square off in this final game.
Ivan Nova, has more swing and miss ability than both the current version of CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. Last season Nova switched to using his curveball more over his slider - only Yu Darvish had a higher swing and miss rate on his curveball in 2013.* The 27-year-old Dominican was 8-6 with a 3.17 ERA, and 1.28 WHIP as a starter in 2013. He had an ERA of 2.73 after the All-Star break. This spring, he walked only two batters and struck out 21 in 19.2 innings of work.
Nova will be facing a hot Dexter Fowler at the top the lineup. Fowler is leading Major League Baseball in this young season in slugging percentage (1.375) and on-base percentage (1.875). All four of Fowler's hits the season have gone for extra bases (2 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B). Robbie Grossman and Matt Dominguez accounted for the Astros' only other two hits yesterday.
Brett Oberholtzer faced the Yankees on September 27, 2013, allowing only three hits total over 5.1 innings, including a double to Alfonso Soriano. Obe' also struck out Soriano one time during the game. The left-hander from Delaware dazzled as a starter after early struggled out of the pen and returning from Oklahoma City. He posted a 4-5 record with a 2.24 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.
Brian Roberts, and Brian McCann have each collected three hits through the first two games. Jacoby Ellsbury has not gotten a hit yet but he has drawn two walks and stolen a base.
Can the Astros bring out the brooms? We shall see.
Stats courtesy of Fangraphs