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Game 146 Preview: Houston Astros vs Seattle Mariners

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Astros look to win three straight series against AL West teams in the playoff hunt, with rookie pitcher Nicholas Tropeano making his first career major league start.

Otto Greule Jr

Houston Astros (64-81) at Seattle Mariners (79-65), 9:10 p.m. (CST)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Mariners SBNation BlogLookout Landing

Pitching matchup

RHP Nick Tropeano (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (14-6, 2.97 ERA, 0.99 WHIP)

Preview

Collin McHugh and Jonathan Villar were enough to take game two against the Mariners. Now the Astro send out rookie Nick Tropeano for his first major league start. Tropeano is thirteenth-best prospect as ranked by MLB.com. The righty has rebounded from forearm soreness earlier this season to post a 3.03 ERA in 124.2 innings in Triple-A Oklahoma City - .248 BABIP and 3.81 FIP. The addition of Tropeano pushed the Astros rotation to six for the remainder of the season.

To get a better picture on Tropeano, we turn to our excellent minor league staff. Anthony Boyer and Dr. Brooks Parker talk about Tropeano:

In addition to having one of the best nicknames ("NiTro") in the Houston Astros' system, Tropeano has made a name for himself as a solid, if not flashy, starting pitcher with a well-rounded repertoire, outstanding makeup, and an innings-eating profile that could make him an ideal #4/5 pitcher in a major league rotation. Of course, he also made a splash last year when he struck out Rockies prospect Vinnie Catricala on just one pitch.

NiTro faces Hisashi Iwakuma quietly one of the best number two starters for times during his time with the Mariners. During a stretch in August in Iwakuma gave up four runs over 36.1 innings, but his three most recent starts he has given up 11 runs over 13.2 innings. In three starts against Houston, Iwakuma has given up nine runs over 19.2 innings - eight of those runs came in the first two starts. Fellow propsect Max Stassi will be catching NiTro tonight.

Look for Jose Altuve to break out of his mini two game slump with Iwakuma on the mound, he is 8-for-19 with a double. Marwin Gonzalez is 7-for-12 with two extra-base hits against Iwakuma in his career, and Matt Dominguez 6-for-19 with a double.