Houston Astros (57-52) vs. Texas Rangers (63-47), August 6, 2016, 6:10 PM CDT
Yes, that Lucas Harrell. The very same pitcher who once pitched for the Astros, until a notorious rant in which he blamed his very poor performance on shifts, and who ultimately pitched in Korea in 2015 to the tune of a 4.93 ERA/1.65 WHIP in 171.2 innings. He's now with the Rangers, having come over in a trade with interesting-but-inexperienced left-handed reliever Dario Alvarez from the Braves (this is the third team just this season for both Harrell and Alvaez, if you count the Tigers for Luke, who released him from his minor league contract before the Braves picked him up) in exchange for minor league-mashing second baseman. Have you been under a rock?
Joking aside, Harrell has been getting very solid results this year, as is evidenced by his stat line above, but his peripherals (4.46 FIP, 5.28 xFIP, 5.86 K/9, 3.82 BB/9, etc.) tell us that he's still the same old Lucas Harrell.
Of course, the Astros have Doug Fister to answer with...who has also had good results this year - and is coming off a true gem of a start against the Blue Jays - but is also vastly outperforming pretty mediocre peripherals (4.44 FIP, 4.70 xFIP, 5.93 K/9, 3.07 BB/9, etc.) so far this year. The tale of today will likely revolve around which starting pitcher folds first.
Only Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez, neither of whom were with the team when Harrell was, have ever faced him. Rasmus has a hit in two at bats against Harrell, and Gomez has a hit in three at bats.
On the Rangers' side, Shin-Soo Choo has fairly torched Doug Fister in his career, hitting .320 over 25 at bats with two home runs. Elvis Andrus (.292 in 24 AB) and Adrian Beltre (.286 in 21 AB) have each met noticeable success against Fister in their careers, as well.
Texas Rangers Lineup:
Houston Astros Lineup: