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Game #35 Preview: Houston Astros (10-24) at Detroit Tigers (20-9)

Former college roommates face off in Detroit as the Tigers hope to complete the series sweep of the Astros.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers, May 8, 2014 12:08 PM CDT

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Tigers SBNation Blog: Bless You Boys

Pitching Matchup:

LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-2, 3.96 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) vs. LHP Drew Smyly (2-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

Did you know today's starters were roommates at University of Arkansas? No, it's the only fact I've seen about this game all week. I feel like I'm the millionth shopper and the balloons just came down for using it myself. No matter the pre-MLB situation of today's pitchers, the Astros are looking to break a five-game slide and avoid being swept by the Tigers. 

Keuchel is coming of one of his least effective outings on May 3 against the Mariners - 6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO. He posted an ERA of 3.56 in five starts in April. Keuchel leads the league in groundball-to-flyball rate at 1.94. Austin Jackson, Don Kelly,  and Andrew Romine are all 2-for-3 in their careers against Keuchel. Former Ranger Ian Kinsler is 5-for-15 with a home run. Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera are a collective 1-for-10 against the Astros lefty in their careers.

 Drew Smyly is much better than a lefty-specialist, as was his role in the playoffs last season. He has given up two runs over his last 13 innings pitched, striking out 13 and walking three. He has only faced the Astros in a relief role, Alex Presley is 1-for-2 as the only Astros batter with multiple at-bats.