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Game No. 99 Preview: Houston Astros at Philadephia Phillies

AL’s best against the NL’s worst.

Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Houston Astros (65-33) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (34-62), July 24, 2017, 6:05 p.m. CT

TV: AT&T SportsNet-SW, TBS
Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Phillies SBNation Blog: The Good Phight

Pitching Matchup

RHP Brad Peacock (8-1, 2.49 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .294 BABIP, 3.72 xFIP) vs. RHP Vincent Velasquez (2-5, 5.14 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, .297 BABIP, 4.15 xFIP)


The best in the AL face the worst in the NL for three games. The Astros took a bus from Baltimore to Philadephia to face the Phillies for three games.

From the jump, the Astros face a player from their past. Phillies send out Vince Velasquez, who’s all grown up from his time in Houston when he was called Vincent.

Velasquez was one of the key cogs in the Ken Giles trade in 2015 and faces his former team for the first time. He makes his second start after spending six weeks on the 10-day disables list. In that one start, Velasquez allowed one earned run on four hits over six innings at Miami. He struck out four and walked one.

Velasquez still has similar stats from his final campaign in Houston in 2015 (9.39 K/9, 3.40 BB/9) and his current line (9.16 K/9, 3.54 BB/9) — as a matter of fact, his 2015 and 2017 xFIP is the same at 4.15.

Velasquez has the same four pitches: fast, slider, curveball, and changeup. The pitch value has dropped for the slider (-1.2), curveball (-4.1), and (-8.3) except his fastball (7.6) in 2017.

Carlos Beltran (1-for-3), Brian McCann (0-for-3), and Josh Reddick (0-for-6) have faced Velasquez. Reddick has three strikeouts.

Brad Peacock is likely making his final start with the return of Dallas Keuchel. He has been great as a starter, he is 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

Peacock is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA over 19 innings in July. He has struck out 20 and walked eight. All three starts were quality starts.

Howie Kendrick (1-for-7) and Daniel Nava (2-for-5) are the only two batters with experience against Peacock.

Offensive Trends

Jose Altuve is batting .464 (13x28) with a home run and five RBIs in his last six games. Marwin Gonzalez is 9-for-21 with a home run and three RBIs during that same stretch. Evan Gattis had two home runs in his last 17 at-bats.

Brian McCann is 3-for-15 in his last four games. Carlos Beltran is batting .200 (4x20) with a home run.

Odubel Herrera is batting .409 (9x22) with four extra-base hits and three RBIs in his last six games. Galveston native Nick Williams is batting .360 (9x25) with six extra-base hits (2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR) in his last six games. Freddy Galvis is batting .357 (10x28) with three doubles in six games.

Bullpen Usage


Hector Neris and Pat Neshek were both used twice during the Phillies’ three-game set against the Brewers. Neris used 23 pitches to get through two appearances in the ninth inning.

Joaquin Benoit and Hoby Milner each used 20 pitches in one outing over the weekend. Luis Garcia appeared in one game and needed nine pitches. Adam Morgan was the long man, needing 36 pitches to get through two innings.


Luke Gregerson, Chris Devenski, and Michael Feliz were used twice during the Baltimore Orioles series. Feliz used over 40 pitches for his two appearances. Francis Martes used 35 pitches in his one start against the O’s. Closer Ken Giles only threw four pitches in his one outing in Baltimore.

Disabled List


Aaron Altherr (LF) - 10-Day DL - Right hamstring strain.

Casey Fien (P) - 60-Day DL - Right rotator cuff strain.

Clay Buchholz (P) - 60-Day DL - Flexor tear in the right forearm.


Will Harris (RHP) - 10-day DL - Right shoulder inflammation - Harris is expected to make a rehab appearance and rejoin the Astros in Detriot.

Dallas Keuchel (LHP) - 10-day DL - Neck discomfort - Keuchel is expected to make a start during the Tigers series.

Carlos Correa (SS) - 10-Day DL - Torn Ligament - The Astros all-star shortstop is expected to be back in September.

Colin Moran (3B/1B) - 10-Day DL - Facial Fracture/Concussion - Moran has returned to Houston and is expected at least 6-to-8 weeks.