It's funny how two teams can be closely connected without being rivalries. The Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers were in the same division together from 1994-2012. The two teams made arguably the biggest move of the 2015 trade deadline as the Astros sent RHP Adrian Houser, outfielder Brett Phillips, outfielder Domingo Santana, and LHP Josh Hader to the Brewers for outfielder Carlos Gomez and RHP Mike Fiers.
The connections continued as former Astros assistant general manager David Stearns signed on to be Brewers general manager before the end of the 2015 season. Stearns added even more former Astros after he arrived in Milwaukee.
Stearns traded for utility player Jonathan Villar, sending RHP Cy Sneed to Houston, and singing first baseman Chris Carter. Not to forget the lingering rumor of the Astros being interested in catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
While the Astros and Brewers are connected on an off the field, the outcome of this weekend's three games will hinder on more than just the play of Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Villar, Chris Carter, and Domingo Satana.
Friday: RHP Scott Feldman (2-0, 4.26 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)* vs. RHP Chase Anderson (1-1, 9.82 ERA, 2.11 WHIP)*
Saturday: RHP Doug Fister (1-1, 8.27 ERA, 1.96 WHIP)* vs. RHP Wily Peralta (2-3, 6.30 ERA, 1.85 WHIP)*
Sunday: LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) vs. RHP Jimmy Nelson (0-1, 2.45 ERA, 0.28 WHIP)
*Spring Training Stats
The two remaining Astros starters who haven't pitched, Scott Feldman, and Doug Fister, get their first starts of 2016. Both haven't looked sharp this spring for what that is worth. Feldman gave up four runs over his final 7 2/3 innings this spring and Fister gave up 11 over his last 8 1/3 innings.
Feldman was the road warrior for the Astros in 2015, posting a 2.36 ERA in eight road starts. He finished the 2015 season strong in eight starts (1-1, 2.79 ERA) before a right shoulder strain ended his season. Feldman is 1-2 with a 2.12 ERA (17 IP) in three career starts.
Feldman squares off against Chase Anderson, a 9th-round pick in 2009 by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Oklahoma. Anderson, born in Wichita Falls, TX, was included in the Jean Segura/Aaron Hill trade on Jan. 30. Anderson is making his first career start at home in Milwaukee. Current Astros are batting .286 (2-for-7) with a .500 BABIP, and a 42.9 K%.
As previously noted, Doug Fister makes his first start of 2016, it also his first career start as an Astros. Fister signed this offseason a $7 million, one-year contract. While he has spent the majority of his career in the American League, Fister spent the last two season with the Washington Nationals in the NL.
In one relief appearance against the Brewers last season, Fister allowed four runs (three earned) over 1 1/3 innings.
Opening Day starter Wily Peralta takes the ball in game two for the Brewers. He allowed five runs (four earned) in four innings against the San Franciso Giants -- on six hits and two walks. Two of those six hits were doubles.
Dallas Keuchel gets his second start of the season after opening the season in the cold weather of New York. Brewers' Jimmy Nelson faces the Astros for the second time, after getting a final exhibition tuneup against the Astros in Houston. Nelson shut out the Astros for 5 1/3 innings on March 31.
Welcome to the Tyler White show, Astros fans. After three games, the Astros rookie is batting .667 (6x9) with a double, a home run, and four RBIs. Preston Tucker is also hitting the ball well, batting .429 (3x7) with two doubles and a home run.
Carlos Correa is doing Carlos Correa things. The Astros shortstop is batting .385 (5x13) three home runs in three games. George Springer is batting .154 (2x13) but he has a grand slam to his name.
Scooter Gennett and Ryan Braun have started the season hot for the Brewers. Gennett is batting .400 (4x10) with a home run. Braun is batting .333 (4x12) with a double. Chris Carter is batting .222 (2x9) with a home run.
The Astros pitching doesn't find a soft spot in Milwaukee, but the Astros bats pull out two of three.