The Houston Astros are visiting the “Gateway to the West” for three matchups against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Houston Astros need a bounceback series after losing two-of-three to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, Houston has dropped 12 of their last 18 games overall (following a stretch where they won 18-of-23). The feast or famine nature of the 2023 Houston Astros cannot be counted on as an effective strategy to take home a third World Series Title. Indeed, if they don’t get their act together, they may not even qualify for the postseason...
The Panic Battalion is ready for battle...but it’s still June and the Astros are still six games above .500. Let’s see what magic (if any) Dana Brown has in store between now and the trade deadline before we pronounce cause of death on the 2023 season.
Houston Astros lately
After getting to a season-high 12-games-above-.500 on June 5, the Astros have dipped to just six games up by losing 12-of-18. That includes two-of-three to the hosting Los Angeles Dodgers this past weekend.
The Astros managed to save face with a finale triumph, 6-5 in 11 innings on Sunday. In that game, every Astro player got a hit (aside from Martin Maldonado), while Jeremy Peña (9) and Jose Abréu (5) each went deep.
Despite a decent start in that game, Hunter Brown earned no-decision after striking out seven in six frames, allowing one run on three hits. Rafael Montero blew his save opportunity, but Ryan Pressly (2-2) pitched two innings for the win and Seth Martinez (1) nailed down the final three outs for the save.
St. Louis Cardinals lately
St. Louis stumbled out of the gate in 2023, and have yet to really find their footing. After falling a season-low 16-games-below-.500 on June 16, they’ve won five of their last seven. In their most recent contest, they defeated the Chicago Cubs, 7-5 on Sunday.
Willson Contreras went four-for-four, Nolan Gorman added a pair of hits, and a sextet of Cardinal pitchers combined to keep the Cubbies to five runs.
The Astros and the Cardinals haven’t played each other in nearly four years. Houston won two-of-three from them from July 26 through 28, 2019. In the final game of the set, the Astros took a 6-2 decision behind three hits each from George Springer and Jose Altuve, and a pair each from Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel, & Yordan Alvarez. Springer (24), Alvarez (12) and Altuve (16) each hit a home run, and one of Altuve’s hits was his 1500th.
Houston’s pitcher of record, Wade Miley (9-4) earned the win with five shutout innings, striking out six. Collin McHugh, Hector Rondon and Chris Devenski pitched the final four frames.
It wasn’t always like this. Houston and St. Louis used to play each other a lot more, like 15 times a year when they were both in the NL Central and around 12 times per season prior to that. The two have played each other 711 times through their collective history, and Houston is 331-380 for a .466 winning percentage — their sixth-worst record against an opponent.
In addition to their regular season history, the two clubs have faced each other twice in the postseason. The Astros lost the 2004 NLCS to the Cards in seven, then defeated the Cards in six in the 2005 NLCS. Do you have three hours and 41 minutes to spend? Do you miss the days of the Killer B’s, Roy Oswalt, and Roger Clemens? If so, then I have a video for you!
Houston Astros: 42-36, .538, second in the AL West, 5.5 games behind the division-leading Texas Rangers. Sixth in the AL, a half-game behind the New York Yankees for the final wild-card berth. Eleventh in MLB. On pace for 87-75. Last 10: LLLLLWWLLW. Playoff Odds: 61.5 percent playoff odds (B/R).
St. Louis Cardinals: 32-45, .416, fifth in the NL Central, 8.5 games behind the division-leading Cincinnati Reds(!). Eleven games behind the final wild-card berth, currently held by the Dodgers. Twenty-sixth in MLB. On pace for 67-95. Last 10: LLLWWWWLLW. Playoff Odds: 2.5 percent (B/R).
AVG: Mauricio Dubon .289, Paul Goldschmidt .286, Yordan Alvarez .277, Kyle Tucker .274, Brendan Donovan .272.
OBP: Yordan Alvarez .388, Paul Goldschmidt .376, Brendan Donovan .364, Kyle Tucker .352, Alex Bregman .342
SLG: Yordan Alvarez .589, Paul Goldschmidt .486, Nolan Arenado .471, Nolan Gorman .470, Kyle Tucker .442
OPS: Yordan Alvarez .977, Paul Goldschmidt .862, Kyle Tucker .794, Nolan Gorman .793, Nolan Arenado .786
HR: Yordan Alvarez 17, Nolan Arenado & Nolan Gorman 15, Paul Goldschmidt 13, Alex Bregman & Paul DeJong 11
RBI: Yordan Alvarez 55, Nolan Arenado 50, Alex Bregman 49, Nolan Gorman 47, Kyle Tucker 42
SB: Kyle Tucker & Tommy Edman 14, Corey Julks 12, Jeremy Peña & Paul Goldschmidt 8
ERA: Framber Valdez 2.27, Cristian Javier 3.25, Hunter Brown 3.62, Jordan Montgomery 3.69, Miles Nikolas 4.23
WHIP: Framber Valdez 1.00, Cristian Javier 1.12, Hunter Brown 1.20, Jordan Montgomery 1.29, Miles Mikolas 1.36
SO: Framber Valdez 104, Hunter Brown 97, Jack Flaherty 80, Jordan Montgomery 79, Cristian Javier 77
Gametime & Starting Pitchers
Tuesday, 6:45 PM CT — Framber Valdez (7-5, 2.27) vs. TBD
Wednesday, 6:45 PM CT — Cristian Javier (7-1, 3.25) vs. TBD
Thursday, 6:15 PM CT — JP France (2-3, 3.54) vs. TBD
Who’s Hot? (highest WPA vs. Dodgers)
Seth Martinez (.436)
Alex Bregman (.398)
Hunter Brown (.203)
Kyle Tucker (.190)
Corey Julks (.161)
Who’s Not? (lowest WPA vs. Dodgers)
Jeremy Peña (-.124)
Yainer Diaz (-.198)
Martín Maldonado (-.238)
Rafael Montero (-.446)
Bryan Abreu (-.621)
Franchise Leaderboard Check
3) Lance Berkman 1008
4) Jose Altuve 1004
12) George Springer 567
13) Alex Bregman 555
44) Gerald Young 249
45) Kyle Tucker 248
3) Jose Altuve 1961
18) Carlos Lee 894
19) Alex Bregman 892
36) Adam Everett & Yordan Alvarez 102
38) Denis Menke & Kyle Tucker 101
5) Jose Altuve 195
24) Kevin Bass 87
25) Kyle Tucker 83
45) Josh Reddick 48
46) Denny Walling & Martin Maldonado 47
7) Jim Wynn 719
8) Jose Altuve 707
10) Ken Caminiti 546
11) Alex Bregman 539
35) Marwin Gonzalez & Craig Reynolds 300
37) Kyle Tucker 298
3) Jose Cruz 288
4) Jose Altuve 284
22) Phil Garner & Willy Taveras 68
24) Kyle Tucker 67
44) Kazuo Matsui 40
45) Alex Bregman 39
22) Lance McCullers Jr. 49
23) Framber Valdez 48
49) Luis Garcia 28
50) Cristian Javier 27
26) Gerrit Cole 602
27) Framber Valdez 601
39) Ken Johnson 471
40 Cristian Javier 455
Houston will play the St. Louis Cardinals three times. How many times will Houston win?
This poll is closed