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Series Preview: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals, July 24-26, 2015

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Astros head to Kansas City for a rematch with the reigning American League champion.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Series Preview: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals, July 24-26, 2015

During the twilight days of June and the start of July, the Astros and Royals faced one another of a three game series in Houston. The Astros won all three games, outscoring the Royals 16-6 during the series.

The Astros have gone 7-9 since that series, and returned to the win column since the break going 5-1 since the All-Star break. The Royals have posted a 13-6 record since the series in Houston and are 5-3 since the All-Star break.

Houston sends out their newest acquisition Scott Kazmir in game one and rolled Dallas Keuchel in game three. It should be a playoff atmosphere to say the least.

Pitching

Game 1 -  LHP Scott Kazmir (5-5, 2.38 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-5, 5.36 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
Game 2 - RHP Scott Feldman (4-5, 4.93 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) vs. LHP Danny Duff (4-4, 4.24 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)
Game 3 - LHP Dallas Keuchel (12-4, 2.12 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) vs. RHP Yordano Ventura (4-7, 5.19 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

The Astros didn't wait long to get their new toy out to play as quick as they can. Kazmir was scheduled to pitch on Thursday for the Oakland before being traded.

Kazmir is 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA (29ER/109.2IP) and a 1.09 WHIP in 18 starts for the Athletics this season. He has made one start since the All-Star Break, throwing 8.1 innings, and allowing just one run on five hits on Saturday vs. Minnesota. In two starts this season against Kansas City, Kazmir is 0-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 14 1/3 innings (5 earned runs) with 11 strikeouts and two walks. Jeremy Guthrie starts for the Royals in game one, he is 4-0 with a 3.70 ERA in his last four starts. In six career starts, Guthrie has a 4.62 ERA against Houston.

Scott Feldman returned from torn right medial meniscus in his last start, July 18 against the Rangers. He pitched 5 2/3 against Texas, allowing four runs on nine hits. Danny Duff had his best start of the season in his last start, allowing one run on six hits against the White Sox on July 19. He has three straight quality starts coming into Saturday's game. On June 30 against Houston, he allowed four runs over 6 2/3 innings.

Dallas Keuchel took firm control of the reigns of the Astros on Sunday against the Rangers. He dominated the Rangers for seven innings, including telling Delino DeShields to "Sit Down". He currently sits in the driver seat for the AL Cy-Young award, leading the  the American League in wins (12), innings pitched (144 1/3), ERA (2.12), WHIP (0.97), and WAR (5.1). Yordano Ventura was option to Triple A Omaha for one day because of an injury to Jason Vargas. Vargas suffered a flexor tendon strain.

Hitting

Houston scored just seven runs over their last six game before the All-Star break. The Astros have turned their offense around, Houston is tied for the Major League lead in runs scored (36), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.557), and OPS (.928).

Jose Altuve is batting .458 (11x24) with five extra-base hits, seven runs scored, and four RBIs in the team's last six game. Carlos Correa is batting .400 (8x20) with four extra-base hits, five runs scored, and six RBIs. Preston Tucker has three home runs and five RBIs in his last five games.

Alex Rios returned from the disabled list and hit the ground running, batting .429 (12x28) in the team's last eight games. Eric Hosmer is also batting over .400 (.424, 14x33) with five extra-base hits and four RBIs. Mike Moustakas has three home runs and eight RBIs in his last eight games.

Prediction

Kazmir and Keuchel, the Brothers K (we're trying that out), lead the Astros to win the series - 2-1 Houston.

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