Series Preview: Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers, August 14-16, 2015
It's time for some home cooking as the Astros play the Tigers for the games after going 2-7 on their latest road trip. Of course, Miguel Cabrera returns to the lineup just in time to face the Astros after missing most of July and August with a Grade 3 left calf strain.
It may not matter who is in the lineup as the Astros are 38-18 (.679) at home this season, the best home winning in the American League.
The Tigers limp in after raising the white flag on the season by trading away David Price. Detroit has won five of their last ten, and drop two of the against the Royals in their most recent series.
Friday: LHP Dallas Keuchel (13-6, 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (10-6, 4.74 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
Saturday: RHP Collin McHugh (13-6, 4.22 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (1-5, 4.57 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
Sunday: RHP Mike Fiers (5-9, 4.03 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) vs. LHP Matt Boyd (1-3, 7.11 ERA, 1.74 WHIP)
Dallas Keuchel has completely dominated at home. He is 10-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings at Minute Maid Park this year. Keuchel is 1-1 with 5.09 ERA in three career appearances (17 2/3 innings) against the Tigers. Alfredo Simon has struggle lately, giving up 10 runs over his last 12 1/3 innings, he is dealing with a groin strain issue.
Collin McHugh has posted back-to-back quality starts coming into Saturday's start - he has allowed three runs over his last 13 innings while striking out 14. This season on May 22, he allowed three runs over seven inning on nine hits in a loss to the Tigers. Justin Verlander opposes McHugh, and it's only Justin Verlander in name. The 2011 MVP/Cy Young Award winner just isn't the same. His number has slowly normalized a bit, he had a 5.09 ERA in June and is currently at 3.46 ERA in August.
Mike Fiers is making his second start for the Astros on Sunday -- his first start at home as an Astro. He allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings on Aug. 9 against the A's. Rookie Matt Boyd starts on Sunday for the Tigers. He has allowed four runs over 12 1/3 innings as a Tigers.
Jose Altuve is batting .316 (6x19) with two walks in his last five games. Altuve and Valbuena (.333 3x9) are only the Astros batting over .300 in the team's last five games. Colby Rasmus has two home runs in his last 14 at-bats with four RBIs.
Ian Kinsler is batting .375 with three doubles and five runs scored in his last six games. James McCann is batting .316 with two doubles in his last last 19 at-bats. J.D. Martinez is batting .286 with three doubles and four RBIs.
I like the Astros three starters for this series. The extra rest for this young team will do it good. Houston sweeps the Tigers.