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Game No. 86 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Astros are running through the Six for four games.

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Houston Astros (58-27) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (39-45), July 6, 2017, 6:07 p.m. CT

TV: ROOT SPORTS Southwest, MLBN (out-of-market only)
Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Blue Jays SBNation Blog: Bluebird Banter

Pitching Matchup

RHP Lance McCullers (7-1, 2.69 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .288 BABIP, 2.70 xFIP) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (4-4, 5.66 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, .320 BABIP, 4.98 xFIP)


The Houston Astros continue their six-game road trip with a four-game series in Toronto. The Astros have been historically good on the road, going 31-9 and 20-3 in their last 23 road games. Houston is averaging 6.9 runs per game on the road.

The Astros get a Blue Jays at arguably its lowest point, Toronto is in the last place in AL East. After losing some of their biggest bats this season, and previous big swings at the playoffs decimated their minor league season.

Houston will send out Lance McCullers to get the team’s 32nd road win before the All-Star Break. McCullers has had a strong run over his last eight games with a 2.01 ERA, 12 walks, 53 strikeouts, and a .187 opponent batting average.

McCullers is allowed four earned runs over 10 13 innings since returning from the disabled list for strained back. McCullers had one career start against the Blue Jays, he allowed two earned runs over 4 23 innings — striking out six and walking one.

Jose Bautista is 2-for-3 with a solo home run in his career against McCullers. Steve Pearce is 2-for-6 with two RBIs.

Francisco Liriano is 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA in five starts during the month of Juen. Liriano’s most recent start was on July 1, he allowed five earned runs on seven hits over six innings against the Red Sox. Liriano is 1-1 with a 4.61 ERA in two career starts against the Astros.

Evan Gattis is 3-for-6 with two doubles off Liriano in his career. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman each have a double in three career at-bats. Josh Reddick is 1-for-13 with four strikeouts.

Offensive Trends

The Houston Astros have a double in 42 consecutive games, a franchise record. The Astros also have seven doubles in each of the last three games, becoming the first team since 1999 (Indians) and the only team since 1913 to reach that mark ever.

Over the past 25 games, four Astros have an OPS over 1.000: Josh Reddick (1.212), George Springer (1.14), Carlos Correa (1.012), and Jose Altuve (1.007). While the Blue Jays only have one over that same period, Justin Smoak (1.033). Smoak has two home runs and six RBIs in the Jay’s last seven games.

Kendrys Morales has struggled, batting .174 (4x23) with 10 strikeouts and one home run in Toronto’s last six games. Ryan Goins is batting .167 (3x18) with nine strikeouts in the same period.

Bullpen Usage

The Astros have been able to limit their bullpen usage with a few blowouts against the Atlanta Braves. James Hoyt, Tony Sipp, Will Harris, Michael Feliz, and Chris Devenski (1.1 IP) each pitched an inning in relief over the past three days. Devenski has had some heavy use, pitching 5 13 innings over the past seven games. Hoyt has pitched 3 23 innings over the past week.

Roberto Osuna (2 IP), Aaron Loup (2 23 IP), and Danny Barnes (2 23 IP) have been heavily used over the past three games. Loup, Dominic Leone (4 1/3), and Barnes have been used for over four innings in the past week.

Disabled List

Blue Jays

Dalton Pompey (CF) - 60-Day DL - Leg, Concussion - Sent on Triple-A rehab assignment July 4.

Chirs Coghlan (IF) - 10-Day DL - Left wrist contusion, Placed on 10-day DL on June 16.

Marcus Stroman - Day-to-Day - Blister on right middle finger, Left game early on July 3.


Carlos Correa (SS) - day-to-day - left thumb discomfort.

Collin McHugh (RHP) - 10-day DL - Posterior impingement in right elbow, sent on Double-A rehab assignment June 30.

Dallas Keuchel (LHP) - 10-day DL - Neck discomfort - hopes to throw off the mound soon.

Charlie Morton (RHP) - 10-day DL - Right lat strain - To start this week.