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Series Preview: Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers, July 29-31, 2016

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Everywhere I go I see blue and orange.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (55-46) vs. Detroit Tigers (54-48), July 29-31, 2016

The Houston Astros are in Detroit to face the Tigers and ride out the 2016 trade deadline. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is in Detroit to have direct access to the team or (maybe, just maybe) he's looking at someone on the Tigers roster for a trade.

While the Astros are heading in the right direction down the stretch, the Tigers are spinning their wheels a bit. The team has plenty of major assets like Jordan Zimmermann and Miguel Cabrera if they want to go for another run to the playoffs. But the team also has a few pieces to trade off if they choice to pack it in and sell like Justin Verlander.

Here is a closer look at the teams:

Starting pitching

Friday: RHP Collin McHugh (7-6, 4.18 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) vs. LHP Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.63 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
Saturday: RHP Mike Fiers (7-4, 4.69 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (10-6, 3.64 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
Sunday: LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-10, 4.57 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-9, 4.98 ERA, 1.75 WHIP)

Collin McHugh has had a clear storyline during his time with the Astros. He has struggled to start the season but has a stellar second half to the season over the last two seasons. The story hasn't changed in 2016.

McHugh is 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 18 starts before the all-star game, and he is 2-0 with 1.50 ERA in two starts post all-star game. McHugh allowed four runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings in a start in Houston against the Tigers on April 16. McHugh is 0-2 with a 3.72 ERA in three career starts against the Tigers. He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in one career start at Comerica Park -- seven innings pitched.

Current Tigers are batting .311 (19x61) against McHugh with a .333 BABIP, 3.99 FIP, 14.3 K%, and a 1.6 BB%.

Matt Boyd goes against McHugh. Boyd has had a stellar July. He is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 15 1/3 innings over three starts. He has struck out 17 and walked three over that time.

In one career start, Boyd has allowed five runs on six hits over five innings. Current Astros are batting .333 (6x18) against Boyd with .308 BABIP, 8.95 FIP, 15.8 K%, and a 5.3 BB%.

Mike Fiers and Justin Verlander go in game two. Fiers rebounded from his outburst in Oakland by allowing three runs over seven innings against the Angels.Verlander has looked like his old self with a 3-0 record in five July starts with a 1.60 ERA.

Dallas Keuchel starts in game three, he is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in three starts in July. Keuchel faces Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey is 1-2 with a 4.81 ERA in five July starts.

Lineup

Jose Altuve is still on his MVP pace, he is batting .360 (9x25) with two home runs and six RBIs in his last six games. Over that same time, Carlos Correa is batting .300 (6x20) with a home run and three RBIs. In his last four games, Evan Gattis is batting .267 (4x15) with four home runs and six RBIs. Colby Rasmus hopes to break his slide at the plate with his recent two-run home run but he is still batting 1-for-11 in his last three games.

Miguel Cabrera is a beast and he has been hitting like one over his last six games. He is batting .450 (9x20) with two home runs and six RBIs. Victor Martinez is batting .381 (8x21) with five RBIs. Jose Iglesias is batting .308 (8x26) with a home run and four RBIs. Ian Kinsler is struggling mightily, going 5-for-28 in his last six games.

Prediction

Astros drop two of three. The offense struggles with Luis Valbuena and Carlos Gomez out.

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