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Game No. 153 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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Astros look to shake off the Carlos Correa Birthday Bash hangover and win the series against the Angels

Jose Altuve and the Astros were frustrated by the Angels' pitching staff yesterday and will look to return to their winning ways this afternoon
Jose Altuve and the Astros were frustrated by the Angels' pitching staff yesterday and will look to return to their winning ways this afternoon
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (80-72) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (77-74), Sep 23, 2015 1:10 PM CDT

TV:Root Sports SW, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Angels SB Nation Blog: Halos Heaven

Pitching Matchup:

RHP Mike Fiers (7-10, 3.64 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) vs. RHP Nick Tropeano (2-2, 5.06 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

Preview:

The Astros fell short in game two of this final series of the season against the Angels, largely due to two fastballs that were inexplicably called for (and delivered) down the heart of the plate in the first inning - one to Mike Trout, and the other to Albert Pujols.  The latter hitter added to his Hall Of Fame credentials on the pitch by destroying it to left field as the back end of back to back home runs, passing Manny Ramirez on the all time home run list and running his career total for home runs against the Astros to a staggering 50, the most of any player ever.  The Astros stranded an incredible 23 runners on base and wasted a 430' double to center field off the bat of Carlos Correa in the 9th inning against woebegone (probably "soon-to-be-gone") Angels closer Huston Street.  Correa represented the tying run, with Jed Lowrie on first after being intentionally walked, when Evan Gattis struck out to end the game.

But then, this isn't a recap.

Today, the Astros will look to capitalize early and often against Angels starter Nick Tropeano, who has given up five runs in 10.1 innings of work (two starts and a single inning of relief) in September for a 4.35 ERA...which is a large improvement over his previous body of work in 2015.  He has not yet faced the Astros this season.

Mike Fiers will look to recapture some of his Minute Maid Magic against Los Angeles area teams versus the Halos.  His only appearance this season against the Angels was the September 13th game - a game which will likely not be forgotten by Astros fans soon, as it involved a five run ninth inning against the aforementioned Street to stun the Angels at home - in which Fiers pitched reasonably well, notching seven innings and allowing three runs, which were all solo home runs: two to C.J. Cron (there's the match up to watch in this game) and one to Mike Trout.

None of the Astros hitters have ever faced Nick Tropeano (at least, not in the majors) and that (the Astros' first time facing a pitcher) has proven challenging this year for the Astros.  Helping their cause today is the fact that Tropeano has struggled this season, and the Astros are playing at home.

We all know how much they love playing at home.

Of further note: The Astros have recalled first baseman Jon Singleton from AAA Fresno, and he will be with the team and available starting today.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Astros?src=hash">#Astros</a> officially recall 1B Jon Singleton from AAA Fresno. He will join the team today and is available.</p>&mdash; Houston Astros  (@astros) <a href="https://twitter.com/astros/status/646708407718801408">September 23, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Astros lineup:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Astros?src=hash">#Astros</a> lineup for series finale vs. Angels. <a href="https://twitter.com/Fiers64">@Fiers64</a> gets the start at 1:10 CT. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Whiff?src=hash">#Whiff</a> <a href="http://t.co/eLM27MHejL">pic.twitter.com/eLM27MHejL</a></p>&mdash; Houston Astros  (@astros) <a href="https://twitter.com/astros/status/646696092004839424">September 23, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Angels lineup:

Not available at the time of this posting.