Series Preview: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees, June 25-28, 2015
The road wasn't kind to the Astros, as they went 4-4 after taking two games from the Rockies. Houston now comes home where they are 23-14 this season. They are even better in their last 20 games at home, 15-5 during that stretch.
In their last homestand, they scored 38 runs (7.6 runs/game) and got 17.2 scoreless innings out of their bullpen.
Houston now faces the Yankees, who currently have the fifth-oldest average age among major league baseball teams. But that hasn't stopped them one bit, they currently sit at 39-33 -- one game behind the Rays for first place in the American League East. They are 5-5 in their last ten games, dropping two of three against the Phillies in their most recent series.
2015 Yankee Roster Additions
The Derek Jeter lovefest is over, and now the Yankee are without their captain for the first time since 1995. New York also saw catcher Francisco Cervelli, infielder Martin Prado, pitcher Shane Greene, pitcher Brandon McCarthy, and pitcher David Phelps leave by trade or free agency.
Didi Gregorius was brought in to replace Jeter and Andrew Miller was brought in to replace the loss of David Robertson. Miller was a target of the Astros, and failing to sign him resulting in the moves to get Pat Neshek and Luke Gregerson.
Game 1 - LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-3, 2.35 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) vs. RHP Adam Warren (5-4, 3.62 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
Game 2 - RHP Vincent Velasquez (0-0, 4.15 ERA, 1.69 WHIP) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-2, 4.95 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
Game 3 - LHP Brett Oberholtzer (2-1, 2.81 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (4-3, 3.17 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
Game 4 - RHP Collin McHugh (8-3, 4.80 ERA, 1.33 WHIP), RHP Michael Pineda (8-4, 4.25 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
Both sides get the full brunt of the pitching forces of each team this go around. Dallas Keuchel starts game one for the Astros. He has only one of his last four starts. He is coming off one of his poorest performance of the season, allowing three home runs in his last start, Saturday in Seattle.
Keuchel in one career start against the Yankees, allowed three runs over eight inning on seven hits and five strikeouts. Adam Warren, a 2009 draft pick by the Yankees, is making his 13th start of the season for the Yankees. He is coming of his strongest performance of the year, allowing two runs over eight inning against the Tigers.
Vincent Velasquez has made three starts this season for the Astros, none of them have gotten out of the fifth inning. Velasquez hasn't been hit hard yet, but teams have been able to fight off his pitches. Houston-born Nathan Eovaldi has been on roller coast his last two starts. Allowing eight runs over 2/3 of an inning against the Marlins and holding the Tigers to two runs over six innings in his most recent start.
At the moment, Brett Oberholtzer may be pitching as well as anyone on the Astros roster. He has allowed just five runs over his last 12 innings of work -- including 5 2/3 strong innings against the Angels in his last start. The Astros attempted to get Masahiro Tanaka before he selected the Yankees before the 2014 season. Now he faces the Astros for the first time. He blew up in his last start, allowing 10 runs (seven earned) on ten hits over five innings against the Tigers.
Collin McHugh appears to have found himself once again, allowing just two runs over eight innings on Tuesday against the Angels. He could have had a scoreless outing if his attempted to field a ball -- it trickling away from him. Michael Pineda had a rough outing last go around, allowing eight earned runs over 3 1/3 innings against the Phillies.
Luis Valbuena appears to have finally found some holes for his hard line drives. He is hitting .364 (8x22) with three home runs over his last six games. George Springer is batting .259 (7x27) with two home runs in his last seven games. Carlos Correa is batting .226 (7x31) with five runs scored, four doubles, a home run, and five RBIs.
Brett Gardner has been knocking the cover off the ball, batting .500 in his last 32 at-bats with seven extra-base hits. Alex Rodriguez has found an old spark, batting .423 (11x26) with three home runs and 11 RBIs in his last seven game. Gardner, Rodriguez, Chris Young (.423), Brian McCann (.421), Stephen Drew (.389), Chase Headley (.357), Carlos Beltran (.333), and Mark Teixeira (.316) are all batting over .300 in the team's last seven games with at least 18 at-bats.
Astros ride the good waves of the signing Alex Bregman on Thursday for the win, and take 2 of 3 over the weekend for the series win.