Tonight at 7:10 PM CT, the Houston Astros will host the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park.
Houston is hot off the heels of a 5-1 road trip, where they swept the formerly 14-5 Atlanta Braves then took two-of-three against the formerly 19-3 Tampa Bay Rays.
In the capper, Hunter Brown threw a gem, limiting the Rays to two hits and two walks over seven shutout innings on Wednesday night. Jeremy Peña scored the only run of the evening for either team, scampering home on Rays shortstop Wander Franco’s fielding error in the first inning. Mauricio Dubón extended his MLB season-high hitting streak to 20 games. Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly each tossed a blemish-free inning to put the seal on the 1-0 victory.
It’s worth noting that Tampa Bay, who had homered in all 22 games of the season before Houston arrived, went homerless for the entire three-game set.
The last time Houston and Philadelphia played was in last season’s World Series, won by the Astros four-games-to-two. Yordan Alvarez was the big bat for the good guys, with a three-run homer that went 450 feet to dead center. That home run remains in orbit. Framber Valdez earned the win, allowing one run on two hits and striking out nine over six innings. Neris, Bryan Abreu, and Pressly each pitched a scoreless inning in the triumph. Go ahead, watch it. You’ve earned it.
I’m writing this yesterday, and the next part of this preview involves what the Phillies are doing lately. Well, they’re playing the Mariners on MLB.TV, so I’ll be write back.
Ok. Thanks for being patient! Philadelphia finished off a seven-game homestand by taking two-of-three from the Seattle Mariners. In the finale, Kody Clemens knocked in the only run of the contest with a single in the bottom of the 2nd. Matt Strahm earned the win, striking out five over 5 1⁄3 two-hit innings. A quartet of pitchers kept the Mariners to a single and a pair of walks the rest of the way, punctuated by a perfect inning from Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.
Houston has won 48.9 percent of head-to-head games versus Philadelphia, going 281-294 through the regular season. Last season’s World Series was the second time the two had faced off in the postseason. The first was Houston’s first ever playoff series, when they dropped three-of-five in the 1980 NLCS.
Houston Astros: 14-11, .560, tied for first in AL West, tied for sixth in AL, tied for 11th in MLB, on pace for 91-71, Last 10: LWLWWWWLWW, Playoff Odds: 98.2 percent
Philadelphia Phillies: 13-13, .500, tied for third in NL East, tied for seventh in NL, tied for 15th in MLB, on pace for 81-81, Last 10: WLWLWWWLWW, Playoff Odds: 15.6 percent
AVG: Bryson Stott .339, Brandon Marsh .338, Nick Castellanos .333, Mauricio Dubón .330, Kyle Tucker .302
OBP: Brandon Marsh .420, Kyle Tucker .415, Nick Castellanos .394, Bryson Stott .368, Yordan Alvarez .367
SLG: Brandon Marsh .675, Yordan Alvarez .533, Nick Castellanos .525, Kyle Tucker .512, Bryson Stott .459
OPS: Brandon Marsh 1.095, Kyle Tucker .927, Nick Castellanos .919, Yordan Alvarez .900, Bryson Stott .827
HR: Yordan Alvarez 6, Kyle Tucker & Kyle Schwarber 5, Brandon Marsh & Jeremy Peña 4
RBI: Yordan Alvarez 27, Alec Bohm 20, Kyle Tucker 19, Nick Castellanos 16, Jeremy Peña 14
BB: Alex Bregman 19, Kyle Tucker 18, Kyle Schwarber 15, Yordan Alvarez & Brandon Marsh 11
SB: Jeremy Peña 6, Kyle Tucker 5, Chas McCormick, J.T. Realmuto & Trea Turner 4
ERA: Framber Valdez 2.25, Hunter Brown 2.37, Cristian Javier 3.21, Luis Garcia 4.00, Bailey Falter 4.50
WHIP: Hunter Brown 1.05, Cristian Javier 1.07, Bailey Falter 1.14, Framber Valdez 1.16, Luis Garcia 1.26
K: Framber Valdez & Zack Wheeler 34, Matt Strahm & Hunter Brown 32, Luis Garcia 31
Gametime & Starting Pitchers
Today, 7:10 PM CT: Aaron Nola (1-2, 5.40) vs. Framber Valdez (2-2, 2.25)
Saturday, 4:10 PM CT: Zack Wheeler (2-1, 4.73) vs. Cristian Javier (2-0, 3.21)
Sunday, 6:10 PM CT: Bailey Falter (0-4, 4.50) vs. Jose Urquidy (1-2, 5.64)
Who’s Hot (highest WPA vs Rays)
Hunter Brown +.474
Jeremy Peña +.278
Luis Garcia +.241
Ryan Pressly +.182
Alex Bregman +.159
Who’s Not (lowest WPA vs Rays)
Corey Julks (-.096)
Martin Maldonado (-.104)
David Hensley (-.107)
Jose Abreu (-.174)
Jose Urquidy (-.567)
Astros Reliever Hector Neris spent his first eight major league seasons with the Phillies. In 405 appearances, he was 21-29 with a 3.42 ERA and 520 K’s in 407 2⁄3 innings.
Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs played three seasons with the Houston Astros. In 51 games, he hit .182 and threw out 50 percent of runners trying to steal.
21. Rusty Staub 833
22. Alex Bregman 830
41. Moises Alou 265
42. Yordan Alvarez 261
48. Dickie Thon 226
49. Kyle Tucker & Julio Lugo 222
21. Roger Metzger 844
22. Alex Bregman 840
41. Moises Alou & Yordan Alvarez 93
43. Michael Bourn, Steve Finley, Roger Metzger, Kyle Tucker 88
16. Morgan Ensberg 105
17. Yordan Alvarez 104
25. Lee May 81
26. Marwin Gonzalez 79
27. Kyle Tucker 78
48. Enos Cabell & John Bateman 45
50. Martin Maldonado 44
39. Denis Menke 282
40. Kyle Tucker 275
30. Adam Everett 59
31. Kyle Tucker 58
45. John Cangelosi 38
46. Marwin Gonzalez 37
47. Alex Bregman 36
29. Joaquin Andujar 44
30. Framber Valdez 43
47. Charlie Morton & Jack Billingham 29
49. Luis Garcia 28
25. Trever Miller 230
26. Ryan Pressly 228
34. Danny Darwin 543
35. Mark Portugal 535
36. Framber Valdez 531
42. Joe Sambito 421
43. Cristian Javier 407
48. Luis Garcia & Charlie Morton 364
How many wins will Houston take from Philadelphia?
This poll is closed
Houston wins three times!
Houston wins twice
Houston wins just once
Philadelphia wins three times