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Series Preview: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim July 22-24, 2016

Can the Astros stop the Angels six-game winning streak?

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Houston Astros (51-44) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (43-52), July 22-24, 2016

Something has to give. The Astros are 9-1 against the Angels during the 2016 season. While the Angels have one every game they have played since returning from the All-Star break. The Halos have swept three-game series against the Rangers and White Sox. Let's talk about the series:

Starting pitching

Friday: RHP Lance McCullers (4-4, 3.61 ERA, 1.64 WHIP) vs. RHP Matt Shoemaker (5-9, 4.08 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
Saturday: RHP Collin McHugh (6-6, 4.25 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (8-7, 5.02 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)
Sunday: RHP Mike Fiers (6-4, 4.75 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) vs. TBD

Lance McCullers has been a little bit of good and a little bit of bad. He has lost his last twos (bad), but he's given up only fours over those two starts (good). He only went 9.1 innings in those two starts (bad). McCullers struck out 14 those 9.1 innings (good) but he has walked eight during that time (bad).

McCullers allowed just one run over 5.2 innings against the Angels on June 22 on six hits.

McCullers is 3-2 with 2.61 ERA in seven home starts this season. He is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in five career starts against the Angels. Current Angels are batting .200 (11x55) against McCullers with a .214 BABIP, 4.33 FIP, 18.3 K%, and a 6.7 BB%.

Matt Shoemake is making his fourth start against Houston in 2016. He is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in those three previous starts. Shoemaker held the Astros to three earned runs on eight hits over 7.1 innings in his last start against Houston on June 22. Shoemaker is 2-2 with a 3.73 ERA in eight career games (six starts) against Houston and he is 0-1 with a 3.57 ERA in four games (two starts) at Minute Maid Park.

Current Astros are batting .263 (31x118) against Shoemaker with a .350 BABIP, 2.75 FIP, 27.6 K% and a 4.7 BB%.

Collin Mchugh starts in game two and he is rolling. McCugh is 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA in his last six starts. Jered Weaver, who starts in game two, continues to be a crafty veteran. He is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts in July.

Mike Fiers hopes to rebound after having blow up on A.J. Hinch after being pulled in the fourth inning. Fiers is 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in his last sevens starts.

Lineup

Jose Altuve has come back from All-Star break, proving why he may be the leader for the MVP award this season. He is batting .583 (14x24) with five extra-base hits and three RBIs. Carlos Correa continues to hit, he is batting .368 (7x19) with four doubles and seven RBIs. The biggest surprise post All-Star Break has been Jake Marisnick -- he is 5-for-14 ith two doubles in his last five games. George Springer has started a bit cold after the break, he is batting .185 (5x27) with two walks in the leadoff spot.

Albert Pujols has been driving the Angels offense since the All-Star break. He is batting .368 (7x19) with a four home runs and 12 RBIs in six games. Yunel Escobar is batting .304 (7x23) with five runs scored. Anderlton Simmons is batting .300 (6x20) with two doubles. Mike Trout is batting .278 (5x18) with a home run and four RBIs.

Prediction

Something tells me the Astros will drop two out of three in this series. The only I think that is Shoemaker and Weaver always seem to find another gear against Houston.

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