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Game No. 102 Preview: Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers

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Astros spend the trade deadline

MLB: Houston Astros at Philadelphia Phillies John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (67-34) vs. Detroit Tigers (45-55), July 28, 2017, 6:10 p.m. CT

TV: AT&T SportsNet-SW
Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Tigers SBNation Blog: Bless You Boys

Pitching Matchup

LHP Dallas Keuchel (9-0, 1.67 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, .222 BABIP, 2.91 xFIP) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (6-8, 5.81 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, .325 BABIP, 5.30 xFIP)

Preview

The Houston Astros continue their road trip of teams that are selling at the trade deadline. The Detroit Tigers are 10 games under .500 and 10 games out of the AL Central standings. Of course, the Tigers are a team that is being currently scouted by the team in the hunt for the 2017 crown including the Astros.

The Astros have been linked RHP Justin Verlander and LHP reliever Justin Wilson. Houston could see Verlander on Sunday against Lance McCullers. But before that, the Astros square off against Jordan Zimmermann.

Zimmermann is now in his second season with the Tigers and his second season of below averaged play. After five seasons with an xFIP below 4.00 with the Nationals, he now has a season with a 4.84 xFIP and a current 5.30 xFIP.

Zimmermann enters Friday’s start with a 1-3 record and 7.11 ERA in the month of July. He has allowed 15 earned runs on 29 hits over 19 innings. Zimmermann’s most recent start, he allowed five earned runs on nine hits over 3 23 innings on July 22 against the Twins.

Zimmermann is 2-3 with a 2.95 ERA in six career starts against the Astros, including a start on May 23 in which he allowed two earned runs on five hits over six innings.

Josh Reddick is 3-for-5 with a walk in his career against Zimmermann. Yuli Gurriel is 1-for-2 with a home run. Carlos Beltran is 5-for-21 with three doubles.

Dallas Keuchel returns to the Astros rotation for the first time since June 2. Keuchel had been dealing with a pinched nerve and a neck discomfort.

Keuchel is 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA in six career games (five starts) against the Tigers. His last appearance was in 2016.

Miguel Cabrera (.267), Ian Kinsler (.286), Victor Martinez (.400), and James McCann (.500) each have a home run against Keuchel in their careers. Mikie Mahtook is 2-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout.

Offensive Trends

Tigers

James McCann is batting .545 (6x11) in his last four games with three doubles. Mikie Mahtook is batting .364 (8x24) with two triples in his last six games. José Iglesias is batting .333 (8x24) with two extra-base hits and four RBIs in his last six games.

Miguel Cabrera is batting .167 (3x18) with seven strikeouts in his last five games. Nicholas Castellanos is batting .154 (4x26) with six strikeouts. Trade subject Alex Avila is batting .067 (1x15) with seven strikeouts in his last five games.

Astros

Jose Altuve is playing at an MVP level. Over his last six games, he is batting .538 (14x26) with five doubles, a home run, and seven RBIs. Marwin Gonzalez has stepped up off the bench and is batting .455 (10x22) with three extra-base hits and five RBIs. Yuli Gurriel has two home runs, six RBIs, and seven strikeouts in his last 27-bats.

Evan Gattis is batting 3x15 with fives strikeouts in his last four games. Josh Reddick is batting .308 (8x26) with two doubles, five RBIs, and five strikeouts in his last six games.

Bullpen Usage

Tigers

Daniel Stumpf was the only pitchers that were used twice during the recent Royals series. Stumpf needed 37 pitches to get through 2 13 innings. Bruce Rondon (12 pitches), Alex Wilson (8), and Warwick Saupold (12) had a normal workload in one outing against the Royals. Chad Bell threw 44 pitches over 2 23 innings on Wednesday.

Astros

Tony Sipp had heavy load during the Astros’ most recent series against the Phillies, he appeared in all three games — throwing 45 pitches over 2 13 innings.

Ken Giles, James Hoyt, Luke Gregerson, Francis Martes, Michael Feliz, and Joe Musgrove each pitched an inning during the series in Philadelphia. Hoyt, Feliz, and Musgrove threw 30-plus pitches during their outings. The remaining had normal workloads.

Disabled List

Tigers

Daniel Norris (P) - 10-Day DL - Left groin strain.

Astros

George Springer (OF) - 10-Day DL - Left quad discomfort - Springer was placed on the DL retroactive as of July 25.

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.