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Game No. 153 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels

Can the Astros crush the Angels’ hopes?

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (93-59) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (76-76), Sept. 22, 2017, 7:10 PM CT

TV: ATT SportsNet SW
Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Angels SBNation Blog: Halos Heaven

Pitching Matchup

RHP Justin Verlander (13-8, 3.50 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .275 BABIP, 4.24 xFIP) vs. RHP Garrett Richards (0-2, 2.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .250 BABIP, 2.75 xFIP)

Preview

Justin Verlander has been lights out as an Astro. He is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA (2 ER/21 IP) in his three starts with Houston. Only three other pitchers since 1998 have gone 3-0 with a sub-1.00 ERA in their three starts after being traded: LHP Randy Johnson (1998, HOU), RHP Andy Ashby (2000, ATL) and LHP Rich Hill (2016, LAD).

Verlander hopes to continue his positive stretch as an Astros and hold down the Angels’ playoff hopes. The Halos are 2 12 games behind the Twins in teh AL Wild Card standings, tied with the Rangers.

Verlander is 7-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 18 career starts against the Angels. He 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts in 2017. One of those two starts includes one with the Astros, he pitched eight scoreless innings on Sept. 12.

Kole Calhoun (.050) and Luis Valbuena .107 each have 10-plus career strikeouts in 20-plus career at-bats against Verlander. Albert Pujols is batting .292 with one home run in 24 career at-bats. Mike Trout is batitng .118 (2x17) with two home runs against Verlander.

Garrett Richards makes his fourth start since coming off the 60-day disabled list. He is 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in those three previous starts. He has allowed only four runs but he has only pitched 13 13 innings over that stretch. He hasn’t pitched more five innings in any one start in 2017.

Richards is 5-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) against the Astros.

Josh Reddick is batting .348 (8x23) against Richards. Jose Altuve is batting .300 (9x30) with a double. Brian McCann is 1-for-6 with a home run.