Houston Astros (7-4) vs. Oakland Athletics (5-6), April 15, 2017, 4:05 PM CDT
RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) vs. LHP Sean Manaea (0-1, 7.15 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)
The Astros offense has come alive. During the Astros’ last three games, the team has at least 10 hits. An offensive outburst isn’t a surprise but a welcome change after the slow start to the season for Houston.
The key change has been Jose Altuve. Altuve is batting .615 (8x13) with three doubles and six runs scored in his last four games. Everything has fallen into place with Altuve clicking.
Lance McCullers aims to improve on his season mark of 1-0 on Saturday, he is 1-1 with 3.45 ERA in three career starts against Oakland. Surprising, McCullers is making his first career start against the A's on the road. McCullers has a history of leaving the Astros wanting on the road, he was 1-2 with a 5.57 ERA in four road starts in 2016.
Sean Manaea has given up nine runs over his first 11 1/3 innings, including three home runs. Manaea will face a top-10 home run team thus far in 2017 with the Astros (14).
The sophomore starter is 0-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.
Matchup to Watch: Stephen Vogt vs. Lance McCullers
Lance McCullers hasn’t been able to figure out veteran catcher Stephen Vogt through two seasons. Vogt is batting .625 (5x8) with a double, home run and two RBIs.
To have a success outing, McCullers have to finally figure out Vogt.