Houston Astros (74-65) at Cleveland Indians (80-58), September 8, 2016, 11:10 AM CT
Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Indians SBNation Blog: Let's Go Tribe
RHP David Paulino (MLB Debut, see MiLB stats below) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (10-6, 1.27 WHIP, 3.70 ERA, 4.22 xFIP)
David Paulino makes his MLB debut for the Astros today as they close out the series in Cleveland and a 7-game road trip.
Many of the Astros faithful are eager to see what Paulino can do at the big league level, though the circumstances could be better. With two of the Astros' top starting pitchers (McCullers and Keuchel) dealing with injuries, the Astros are relying on their deep farm system to get them into the playoffs.
The majority of Paulino's 2016 games were played at the AA level with the Corpus Christi Hooks. Paulino threw 64 innings with the Hooks while putting up stellar numbers (1.83 ERA/2.20 FIP with a 6.55 K/BB ratio) that earned him a promotion to AAA. Paulino only made 3 starts for Fresno, pitching to a solid 3.86 ERA (3.08 FIP) with a 3.33 K/BB ratio in 14 innings.
Meanwhile, the starter for the Indians is no stranger to the big leagues. Trevor Bauer is in his 5th MLB season and seems to have finally put everything together. He is having the best year of his career with a 3.70 ERA (4.22 xFIP) over 160.1 innings pitched. He made one start in Houston earlier this year and threw 7 scoreless innings while striking out 7 and giving up 3 hits and 3 walks.
A win today would give the Astros a winning record on this 7-game road trip and put them back at 10 games over .500. Detroit, Toronto, and Baltimore all have the day off so a win today would put the Astros 1.5 GB the second AL Wild Card spot and only 2.5 GB the first spot.