Today at 5:35 PM CT, the Houston Astros will open a three-game series at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The last time the Astros faced off against the Pirates was back in 2019, from June 25 through 27. Houston won the opener by a 5-1 margin before dropping the final two by scores of 14-2 and 10-0. Their lone win of the series featured home runs by Yuli Gurriel (7) and Alex Bregman (22). Gerrit Cole, who began his career with the Bucs, gave up one run over six innings of work to earn the win.
Houston opened the season with a split against the White Sox at home and a two-to-one series loss to the Detroit Tigers. Yesterday they concluded their three-game set against the Minnesota Twins with a win following a pair of losses.
In yesterday’s win, Hunter Brown struck out seven over seven innings, allowing only two hits and one unearned run to earn a victory. It was by far the best Astros start of the season. Jose Abreu extended his Astros career-opening record hit streak to 10 games, and Chas McCormick earned four RBI on a single and a homer.
The Pirates have started out the season at 6-3, most recently topping the White Sox in their series finale, 1-0. Johan Oviedo earned the win after pitching 6 2⁄3 shutout innings, striking out five. Pittsburgh only managed two hits in the tilt, not including Jack Suwinski’s second-inning sacrifice fly for the only run in the game. Super-rookie O’Neill Cruz fractured his ankle on a sixth-inning play at the plate.
All Time Head-to-Head
Houston has played Pittsburgh 709 times in the regular season through their shared history, mostly before Houston moved to the American League. The Astros are 343-366, a .484 winning percentage with no postseason meetings.
Houston Astros: 4-6, .400, third in the AL West, 2.0 GB, 1.5 WCGB, 10th in the AL, tied for 20th in MLB, on pace for 65-97, 66.4 percent playoff odds.
Pittsburgh Pirates: 6-3, .667, second in the NL Central, 1.0 GB, In first WC spot, tied for second in the NL, tied for third in MLB, on pace for 108-54, 10.4 percent playoff odds.
Average — Jose Abreu .317, Mauricio Dubon & Corey Julks .304, Yordan Alvarez .281, Chas McCormick .259
OBP —Yordan Alvarez .385, Kyle Tucker .381, Jose Abreu .364, Chas McCormick .355, Mauricio Dubon .333
SLG — Yordan Alvarez .594, Kyle Tucker .571, Chas McCormick .519, Jeremy Peña .419, Mauricio Dubon .391
OPS — Yordan Alvarez .979, Kyle Tucker .952, Chas McCormick .874, Mauricio Dubon .724, Jose Abreu .705
HR — Yordan Alvarez & Kyle Tucker 3, Chas McCormick, Jeremy Peña 2
RBI — Yordan Alvarez 14, Kyle Tucker 8, Chas McCormick & Jeremy Peña 7, Jose Abreu 3
SB — Chas McCormick 3, Kyle Tucker 2, David Hensley & Jeremy Peña 1
BB — Kyle Tucker 7, Yordan Alvarez & Alex Bregman 5, David Hensley, Martin Maldonado, & Chas McCormick 3
IP — Framber Valdez 12, Hunter Brown 11 2/3, Cristian Javier 11
ERA — Phil Maton 0.00, Flamber Valdez 1.50, Bryan Abreu 1.59, Hunter Brown 3.09, Cristian Javier 3.27
WHIP — Phil Maton 0.46, Ryan Pressly 0.60, Bryan Abreu 1.06, Hunter Brown 1.11, Rafael Montero 1.20
K — Framber Valdez 13, Hunter Brown 12, Cristian Javier & Jose Urquidy 11, Bryan Abreu 10
Michael Brantley 10-day IL (shoulder)
Lance McCullers Jr. 15-day IL (forearm)
Blake Taylor 15-day IL (elbow)
Jose Altuve 10-day IL (thumb)
Parker Mushinski 15-day IL
Drew Gilbert Day-to-Day
Jonathan Sprinkle Out
Matthew Barefoot day-to-day
Gametime & starting pitchers
Today, 5:35 PM CT: Framber Valdez (0-1, 1.50) vs. Roansy Contreras (1-0, 1.59)
Tuesday, 5:35 PM CT: Cristian Javier (1-0, 3.27) vs. Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.86)
Wednesday, 11:35 AM CT: Jose Urquidy (0-0, 3.86) vs. Rich Hill (0-1, 10.00)
Starting lineup (possibly)
C Jason Delay
1B Carlos Santana
2B Ji Hwan Bae
3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
SS Rodolfo Castro
LF Canaan Smith-Njigba
CF Bryan Reynolds
RF Andrew McCutchen
DH Ji Man Choi
Who’s hot (top five WPA last series)
Chas McCormick (.425)
Yordan Alvarez (.272)
Hunter Brown (.241)
Mauricio Dubon (.239)
Jose Urquidy (.221)
Who’s not (bottom five WPA last series)
Luis Garcia (-.166)
Jose Abreu (-.167)
David Hensley (-.213)
Jeremy Peña (-.215)
Ryne Stanek (-.773)
RHP Vince Velasquez pitched in 19 games for the 2015 Astros, striking out 58 in 55 2⁄3 innings. He put up a 4.37 ERA and a 1.275 WHIP in what was his first major league action.
How many games will Houston win in this series?
This poll is closed
Houston wins twice
Houston salvages one win
Pittsburgh breaks out the brooms