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ALDS Game Four Preview: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals

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Astros look to close out the Royals in the ALDS with McCullers on the mound.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (86-76) vs. Kansas City Royals (95-67), October 12, 2015 12:07 PM CDT

Astros lead series: 2-1

TV: FS1
Online: MLB.com (subscription required; $4.99 for all postseason minus World Series), Fox Sports Go app
Radio: Houston, TX [Flagship] 790 AM KBME, Spanish 1010 AM KLAT, ESPN radio 97.5
Royals SB Nation Blog: Royals Review

Pitching Matchup:

RHP Lance McCullers (6-7, 3.22 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. RHP Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

For a detailed breakdown of the pitching available to both teams in this game,view subber10's excellent article here.

Preview:

The Astros have clinched a postseason series win at home once in Franchise history, the 2005 NLDS. Houston hopes to make it two with a win today in the 2015 ALDS with the Royals. For that to happen, the Astros will rely on rookie Lance McCullers.

McCullers has thrown 157 2/3 innings this season with the Astros and Double Corpus Christi Hooks -- by far the most innings he's pitching his young pro career. McCullers was sent down to Double A after getting roughed up by the Rangers on August 3 -- allowing six runs over 1/3 of an inning. When he has a 3.31 ERA since being recalled on Aug. 23, where he held his own Clayton Kershaw in an Astros 3-2 win.

McCullers made one start against the Royals this season, allowing one run over seven innings.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS CAREER STATISTICS VS. LANCE MCCULLERS
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Jarrod Dyson"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Jarrod Dyson 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.500 0.667 1.000 1.667
Alex Gordon"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Alex Gordon 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Salvador Perez"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Salvador Perez 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0.333 0.333 1.333 1.667
Alex Rios"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Alex Rios 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Lorenzo Cain"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Lorenzo Cain 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Christian Colon"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Christian Colon 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Kendrys Morales"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Kendrys Morales 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333
Mike Moustakas"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Mike Moustakas 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Yordano Ventura gets a second crack at the Astros early after pitching two innings in game one. Ventura allowed three runs over two innings on four hits and one walk. He threw 42 pitches on Thursday.

Ventura faces the Astros on three-days rest. This is Ventura's first career start on three days rest -- going 7-11 on 3.82 ERA in 28 starts on four days rest.

HOUSTON ASTROS CAREER STATISTICS VS. YORDANO VENTURA
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Jason Castro"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Jason Castro 8 4 1 0 0 1 0 1 0.500 0.500 0.625 1.125
Marwin Gonzalez"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Marwin Gonzalez 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.400 0.400 0.600 1.000
Jose Altuve"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Jose Altuve 7 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.143 0.333 0.143 0.476
Carlos Correa"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Carlos Correa 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.667 1.000 1.667
Evan Gattis"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Evan Gattis 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333 1.000 1.333
Jake Marisnick"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Jake Marisnick 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Colby Rasmus"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Colby Rasmus 5 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400
George Springer"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">George Springer 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 0 1.000 1.000 2.000 3.000
Chris Carter"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Chris Carter 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Hank Conger"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Hank Conger 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Robbie Grossman"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Robbie Grossman 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Jed Lowrie"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Jed Lowrie 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Preston Tucker"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Preston Tucker 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Luis Valbuena"]" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Luis Valbuena 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000