Houston - LHP Dallas Keuchel: 20-8, 2.48 ERA, 232.2 innings, 216 SO, 51 BB, 18.1 K-BB%
You likely have heard the spiel before. Dallas Keuchel is really bleeping good at home. The bearded left-hander is 15-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 18 starts at Minute Maid Park this season. Conveniently, Keuchel will be pitching in Houston Sunday as the Astros look to take a 2-1 series lead.
Keuchel is coming off the biggest performance of his career, throwing six shutout innings and earning the win on three days rest as the Astros beat the Yankees in the Wild Card game Tuesday. Now Keuchel, pitching on full rest, will take on a Kansas City lineup that has scored five runs in 11.1 innings off Houston's starters thus far in the series -- Collin McHugh and Scott Kazmir.
As it was discussed in the Game 2 matchup, the lefty Keuchel matches up with a Kansas City lineup that relies heavily on three lefties and two switch-hitters that hit right-handers better.
Keuchel dominated the Royals in his first start against them, throwing eight shutout innings at home, but KC touched Keuchel for 10 hits and five runs in his visit to Kauffman Stadium
There isn't much more to say about Keuchel. He's likely the AL Cy Young Award winner. The Astros are 24-10 in games he's started this season. He proved he can pitch in the big game with Tuesday's showing. It shouldn't be assumed the Astros will win Sunday, but in no other game will Houston be close to as confident as they are when Keuchelangelo toes the rubber.
Postseason experience: One start: 0.00 ERA, 6 innings, 7 SO, 1 BB
Keuchel's last outing: Tuesday at NYY: 6 innings, 0 runs, 7 SO, 1 BB (Win). Keuchel will be pitching on regular rest..
Kansas City - Edinson Volquez: 13-9, 3.55 ERA (3.82 FIP), 200.1 innings, 155 SO, 72 BB, 9.8 K-BB%
The last time Houston saw Volquez, the Astros were completing a three-game sweep of the Royals in Houston. However, in the final game of that series Volquez hit George Springer with a pitch on the wrist, causing Springer to miss 52 games.
Revenge aside, Volquez has quietly had a nice year in Kansas City -- one of his best as a pro. Although he posted a 3.04 ERA with Pittsburgh last season, he was outperforming his FIP by more than a run. Volquez's 3.82 FIP this season is his best since 2008. He threw 200 innings for the first time in his career, even if it did take a two-inning relief appearance -- his only relief outing -- on the final day of the season to reach the magic number. He's been Kansas City's most consistent starter.
The strikeout and walk numbers are certainly pedestrian, but Volquez has done a fine job of keeping the ball in the ballpark this season. He's allowed just 16 homers in 200.1 innings, and that's important when facing a Houston lineup that finished second to Toronto in home runs this season. Volquez allowed multiple homers in three starts this season, and one came in his five inning outing against Houston on July 1.
Volquez has not been good lately, posting a 5.18 ERA in September, but he did finish the month with six innings of one-run ball against the White Sox on Sept. 30. Expect plenty of Houston baserunners. Cashing in on opportunities is a whole different thing, as Astros fans have seen this season.
Postseason experience: 3 starts: 0-2, 5.19 ERA, 8.2 innings, 3 SO, 2 BB (all three starts with CIN)
Volquez vs. Houston in 2015: 5 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1.80 WHIP.
Volquez's last outing: Oct. 4 at Minnesota: 2 innings, 0 runs, 3 SO, 2 BB. Volquez will be pitching on six days rest and will not have started a game in 10 days.
Game 4 probable starters: Lance McCullers (HOU) vs. Yordano Ventura (KC)
RHP Josh Fields
2015 season: 3.55 ERA, 50.2 innings, 67 SO, 19 BB. Last worked: Game 2 at KC (Fri.): 0.2 innings, 0 runs, 2 SO, 1 BB, 3 inherited runners (one scored).
RHP Luke Gregerson (closer)
2015 season: 3.10 ERA, 61 innings, 31 saves, 59 SO, 10 BB. Last worked: Game 1 at KC (Thurs.): 1.0 inning, 0 runs, 2 SO (save).
RHP Will Harris
2015 season: 1.90 ERA, 71 innings, 68 SO, 22 BB. Last worked: Game 2 at KC (Fri.): 0.2 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned). Has pitched three times in last five days.
RHP Pat Neshek
2015 season: 3.62 ERA, 54.2 innings, 51 SO, 12 BB. Last worked: Game 2 at KC (Fri.): 0.2 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 SO
LHP Oliver Perez
2015 season: 4.17 ERA, 41.0 innings, 51 SO, 15 BB. Last worked: Game 2 at KC (Fri.): 0.0 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned). Has pitched twice in last three days.
LHP Tony Sipp
2015 season: 1.99 ERA, 54.1 innings, 62 SO, 15 BB. Last worked: Game 2 at KC (Fri.): 0.2 innings, 0 runs. Has pitched three times in last five days.
Available to start or for relief:
RHP Mike Fiers: 3.69 ERA, 180.1 innings, 180 SO, 64 BB. Last worked: Sept. 29 at SEA (start): 5.2 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 BB, 7 SO
RHP Luke Hochevar
2015 season: 3.73 ERA, 50.2 innings, 49 SO, 16 BB. Last worked: Game 1 vs. HOU (Thurs.): 1.0 inning, 1 hit, 0 runs
LHP Franklin Morales
2015 season: 3.18 ERA, 62.1 innings, 41 SO, 14 BB. Last worked: Oct. 4 at MIN: 1.0 inning, 1 hit, 0 runs
RHP Ryan Madson
2015 season: 2.13 ERA, 63.1 innings, 58 SO, 14 BB. Last worked: Game 2 vs. HOU (Fri.): 1.0 inning, 0 runs, 2 SO. Has pitched twice in last three days.
RHP Kelvin Herrera
2015 season: 2.71 ERA, 69.2 innings, 64 SO, 26 BB. Last worked: Game 2 vs. HOU (Fri.): 1.0 inning, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 SO. Has pitched twice in last three days.
RHP Wade Davis (closer)
2015 season: 0.94 ERA, 67.1 innings, 78 SO, 20 BB. Last worked: Game 2 vs. HOU (Fri): 1.0 inning, 0 runs, 1 BB, 1 SO (save).
Available to start or for relief
RHP Kris Medlen
2015 season: 4.01 ERA, 58.1 innings, 40 SO, 18 BB. Last worked: Oct. 1 at CHW (start): 6.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 4 SO, 3 BB
LHP Danny Duffy
2015 season: 4.08 ERA, 136.2 innings, 102 SO, 53 BB. Last worked: Oct. 3 at MIN: 1.0 inning, 0 runs, 2 SO
RHP Chris Young
2015 season: 3.06 ERA, 123.1 innings, 83 SO, 43 BB. Last worked: Game 1 vs. HOU (Thurs.): 4.0 innings, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 7 SO, 2 BB