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Game 111 Preview: Houston Astros vs.Toronto Blue Jays

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The Astros attempt to solve the knuckleball today at Minute Maid Park.

Scott Halleran

Houston Astros (45-65) vs.Toronto Blue Jays (60-51), 6:10 p.m. (CST)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV 
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Blue Jays SBNation BlogBluebird Banter

Pitching matchup

LHP Brett Oberholtzer (3-7, 4.30 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) vs. RHP R.A. Dickey (9-10, 3.91 ERA, 1.28)

Preview

The newest Astros have done well since their arrival. Gregorio Petit hit his first home run in his major league career last night at proved to be the winning run for the Astros. Jake Marisnick was floud in the large expanses of Minute Maid Park in his first start last night.

Today the Astros face the power-knuckler of R.A. Dickey. Dickey is not only one of the last knuckleballers in professional baseball, he has one the most unique knucklers ever. The 2012 NL Cy-Young award winner throws patented pitch at a higher velocity. He is coming off one of his best starts in 2014, holding the Red Sox to one run over seven innings of work - striking out ten and walking one. Dickey had his best month by ERA, posting a 3.07 ERA in starts in July.

In one start against Houston this season, Dickey gave up five runs on six hits over seven innings on April 10. A few Astros have figured out the knuckleball in their careers. Today's left fielder, Marc Krauss is 3-for-5 with three extra-base hits against Dickey in his career. Jason Castro is batting .308 in 13 at-bats against Dickey. Robbie Grossman is 1-for-2 with a home run. On the other hand, Jose Altuve and Chris Carter a collective 0-for-16 against the knuckleball.

Brett Oberholtzer takes the mound for the Astros tonight - hopefully with a new lease on his baseball life. The Astros have reinserted him into the rotation. Traded away another young pitcher and demoted his competition all in the past week. Oberholtzer fought his way back to the big leagues with four consecutive quality starts, and he has gone eight consecutive starts with at least six innings of work. In his last seven starts he is 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA. In his last start he picked up the win against the red-hot Athletics, holding the A's to three runs over 6.2 innings.

On April 8, Obe' faced the Jays in Toronto, he allowed three runs over 5.1 innings. Jose Bautista had a home run and walk in that game. Dioner Navarro was 1-for-2 with a double. Melky Cabrera (0-3) and Colby Rasmus (0-2) were hitless against the lefty.