|HOUSTON ( FIERS )|
LA ANGELS ( SKAGGS )
|927||HOUSTON||-120||Ov 8.5,-105||+105||Ov 8.5,-110|
|928||LA ANGELS||+110||Un 8.5,-115||-115||Un 8.5,-110|
|vs Left-handed Starters||18-21||-12.8||20-17||5.4||0.278||0.346||0.458||0.803||4.7||0.251||0.313||0.412||0.725|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-4.1||4-3||3.4||0.211||0.289||0.360||0.648||6.4||0.278||0.355||0.511||0.865|
|vs Right-handed Starters||52-48||+9.2||37-53||4.5||0.244||0.307||0.396||0.703||4.1||0.249||0.309||0.405||0.714|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.2||3-4||4.1||0.224||0.280||0.343||0.623||5.0||0.287||0.332||0.470||0.802|
|9/2/2017||PEACOCK(R)||NY METS||LUGO(R)||4-1||W||-270||9 ev||U||9||6||0||6||9||0|
|9/2/2017||MORTON(R)||NY METS||HARVEY(R)||12-8||W||-265||9 ov||O||17||9||1||11||6||1|
|9/3/2017||FIERS(R)||NY METS||FLEXEN(R)||8-6||W||-255||9.5 ev||O||11||6||1||10||11||1|
|9/4/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ SEATTLE||RAMIREZ(R)||6-2||W||-135||9 ov||U||8||8||1||7||6||0|
|9/5/2017||VERLANDER(R)||@ SEATTLE||MIRANDA(L)||3-1||W||-150||9.5 ev||U||2||6||0||7||6||0|
|9/6/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ SEATTLE||MOORE(R)||5-3||W||-145||9.5 un||U||9||7||0||6||5||1|
|9/8/2017||MCHUGH(R)||@ OAKLAND||COTTON(R)||8-9||L||-165||9.5 ev||O||11||6||0||14||6||0|
|9/9/2017||MORTON(R)||@ OAKLAND||GOSSETT(R)||1-11||L||-145||9.5 un||O||5||6||2||11||14||0|
|9/9/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ OAKLAND||MENGDEN(R)||4-11||L||-230||9.5 ev||O||7||6||0||14||4||2|
|9/10/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ OAKLAND||GRAVEMAN(R)||2-10||L||-175||9 ov||O||8||8||1||12||12||0|
|9/12/2017||VERLANDER(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)||1-0||W||-115||8 ev||U||6||4||0||2||2||0|
|9/13/2017||FIERS(R)||@ LA ANGELS||SKAGGS(L)|| |
|9/14/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ LA ANGELS||NOLASCO(R)|| |
|9/19/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||GIOLITO(R)|| |
|9/20/2017|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|9/1/2017||SKAGGS(L)||@ TEXAS||HAMELS(L)||9-10||L||-130||10.5 ov||O||14||13||2||11||10||1|
|9/2/2017||NOLASCO(R)||@ TEXAS||GRIFFIN(R)||7-4||W||-115||11 ov||P||9||8||3||6||8||1|
|9/3/2017||HEANEY(L)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)||6-7||L||-130||11 ov||O||12||12||0||10||8||1|
|9/4/2017||BRIDWELL(R)||@ OAKLAND||SMITH(R)||11-9||W||-145||9.5 ov||O||14||8||0||16||7||1|
|9/5/2017||RICHARDS(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRAVEMAN(R)||8-7||W||-140||9.5 un||O||9||8||0||13||11||0|
|9/6/2017||SKAGGS(L)||@ OAKLAND||MANAEA(L)||1-3||L||-125||9.5 ov||U||7||9||1||7||7||0|
|9/8/2017||NOLASCO(R)||@ SEATTLE||LEAKE(R)||3-4||L||115||9 un||U||8||4||0||11||9||0|
|9/9/2017||HEANEY(L)||@ SEATTLE||ALBERS(L)||1-8||L||-110||8.5 ov||O||7||8||0||11||5||2|
|9/10/2017||BRIDWELL(R)||@ SEATTLE||RAMIREZ(R)||5-3||W||115||9.5 un||U||8||4||0||8||4||0|
|9/20/2017|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|HOUSTON: 2016: 84-78, third place
Manager: A.J. Hinch (third season)
Who's new? RF Josh Reddick, CF Carlos Beltran, LF Nori Aoki, C Brian McCann, RHP Charlie Morton
Who's gone? C Jason Castro, INF Luis Valbuena, OF Colby Rasmus, RHP Doug Fister
Projected lineup: CF George Springer (.261, 29 HR, 82 RBI), 2B Jose Altuve (.338, 24, 96, 30 SB), SS Carlos Correa (.274, 20, 96, 13 SB), DH Carlos Beltran (.295, 29, 93 with Yankees and Rangers), C Brian McCann (.242, 20, 58 with Yankees) or Evan Gattis (.251, 32, 72), 3B Alex Bregman (.264, 8, 34 in 49 games), RF Josh Reddick (.281, 10, 37 with A's and Dodgers), 1B Yulieski Gurriel (.262, 3, 15), LF Nori Aoki (.283, 4, 28 with Mariners)
Rotation: LH Dallas Keuchel (9-12, 4.55 ERA), RH Collin McHugh (13-10, 4.34), RH Mike Fiers (11-8, 4.48), RH Lance McCullers (6-5, 3.22), RH Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.15 in four games with Phillies)
Key relievers: RH Ken Giles (2-5, 4.11, 15/20 SV), RH Luke Gregerson (4-3, 3.28, 15/21 SV), RH Will Harris (1-2, 2.25, 12/15 SV), RH Chris Devenski (4-4, 2.16), LH Tony Sipp (1-2, 4.95), RH Michael Feliz (8-1, 4.43)
Hot spots: Fifth starter and catcher. Hamstring issues limited 33-year-old Morton to four starts with the Phillies last season. That didn't stop the Astros from signing him to a two-year contract worth at least $14 million. Now, veteran Fiers and 24-year-old Joe Musgrove are on the bubble for the fifth starter's job. McCann and Gattis give the Astros a pair of veteran catchers with slugging potential. McCann has fewer weaknesses behind the plate; Gattis is the better all-around hitter. With Beltran aboard as the primary designated hitter, McCann and Gattis won't both be in the lineup on most nights.
Outlook: After slipping to third place in the AL West last year, the Astros' front office decided to double down on dingers rather than upgrade a rotation that lacks a true ace. The result: A lineup with eight potential 20-home run hitters, including possible MVP candidates in Altuve and Correa. Everyone returns from an impressive young bullpen with high strikeout potential. If the Astros are in contention by the trade deadline, the front office should have the financial flexibility to add a front-line starter. Then again, if Dallas Keuchel looks like the pitcher who won a Cy Young Award in 2015, Houston might not have a problem.
|LA ANGELS: 2016: 74-88, fourth place
Manager: Mike Scioscia (18th season)
Who's new? C Martin Maldonado, 2B Danny Espinosa, INF Luis Valbuena, OF Ben Revere, OF Cameron Maybin, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Austin Adams, RHP Yusmeiro Petit
Who's gone? C Jett Bandy, C Geovany Soto, C Juan Graterol, OF Gregorio Petit, OF Rafael Ortega, RHP Jered Weaver, LHP C.J. Wilson, RHP Jhoulys Chacin, RHP Tim Lincecum, RHP Cory Rasmus, LHP Brett Oberholtzer
Projected lineup: 3B Yunel Escobar (.304, 5 HR, 39 RBI), RF Kole Calhoun (.271, 18, 75), CF Mike Trout (.315, 29, 100, 30 SB), DH Albert Pujols (.268, 31, 119), 1B C.J. Cron (.278, 16, 69) or Luis Valbuena (.260, 13, 40 in 90 games with Astros), LF Cameron Maybin (.315, 4, 43, 15 SB with Tigers), 2B Danny Espinosa (.209, 24, 72 with Nationals), SS Andrelton Simmons (.281, 4, 44, 10 in 124 games), C Martin Maldonado (.202, 8, 21 with Brewers) or Carlos Perez (.209, 5, 31)
Rotation: RH Garrett Richards (1-3, 2.34 in six starts), RH Matt Shoemaker (9-13, 3.88), LH Tyler Skaggs (3-4, 4.17), RH Ricky Nolasco (8-14, 4.42 with Twins and Angels), RH Jesse Chavez (2-2, 4.43 with Blue Jays and Dodgers) or RH Bud Norris (6-10, 5.10 for Braves and Dodgers)
Key relievers: RH Huston Street (3-2, 6.45, 9/12 SV), RH Cam Bedrosian (2-0, 1.12), RH Andrew Bailey (3-1, 5.36 6/7 SV for Phillies and Angels), RH J.C. Ramirez (2-1, 2.91), LH Jose Alvarez (1-3, 3.45), RH Austin Adams (0-0, 9.82 with Indians), RH Yusmeiro Petit (3-5, 4.30 with Nationals), RH Mike Morin (2-2, 4.37)
Hot spots: First base and fifth starter. Pujols started 23 games at first base last year, and will likely play fewer this year after offseason plantar fascia surgery. For now, Pujols is the primary DH, Cron is the first baseman, and Valbuena will begin the season on the DL with a strained hamstring. One problem: neither Cron (.698 OPS) nor Valbuena (.666) could hit lefties last year. The top candidates for fifth starter are similarly flawed. Chavez and Norris finished last season as relievers. Alex Meyer has six major league starts to his name. The Angels might need all of them at points in 2017.
Outlook: It's hard to be too optimistic about a team that's made one playoff appearance in seven years. Yet it's hard to be too pessimistic considering the hard-luck injuries that decimated the Angels in 2016, particularly on the pitching side. Still, 2017 figures to be a transition year. The back of the rotation is a patch job until Tommy John patients Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano return from rehab. The Angels will gain some financial freedom after the season, when Josh Hamilton finally comes off the books. Any positive momentum in the meantime would make Anaheim a more attractive destination for free agents. Getting back above .500 would be a realistic step in that direction; anything beyond that is a bonus
|Astros face Angels with AL West title on horizon|
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Houston Astros will try to creep closer to their first division title in 16 years when they meet the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday in the second contest of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.
The Astros trimmed their magic number to clinch the AL West to five with a 1-0 victory against the Angels on Tuesday night.
Houston right-hander Justin Verlander pitched eight shutout innings in the series opener, and the Astros will turn to Mike Fiers as a late replacement for starter Lance McCullers Jr. on Wednesday.
Astros manager A. J. Hinch said after the series-opening win Tuesday that McCullers felt "symptoms" while playing catch before the game.
"He's got a little bit of arm fatigue, arm soreness," Hinch said. "We're not overly concerned, with the exception that I'm not going to have him go out there if he doesn't feel good."
Fiers (8-9, 4.87 ERA) has defeated the Angels twice this season and is 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA in seven career starts against them.
He had his best start of the season June 10 against Los Angeles, not allowing an earned run over 7 1/3 innings of a 3-1 victory at Houston. Fiers threw five innings at Angel Stadium on May 7 and earned the victory after giving up three runs and four hits in the 5-3 win.
In his most recent outing, Fiers gave up two runs in one inning during a relief outing Friday at Oakland. His most recent start was on Sept. 3, when the New York Mets got to him for six runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
McCullers (7-3, 3.97 ERA) was 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA in May and threw 22 consecutive scoreless innings during that stretch to help him earn his first All-Star berth, but he missed all of August with back discomfort. He returned last Wednesday and allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-3 victory against the Seattle Mariners.
Fiers should be able to throw strikes with confidence. Verlander said after his one-hit effort Tuesday that the Houston defense is a difference-maker.
"This defense is really special," the Astros newcomer said. "It makes our job easier to pitch to contact and know, if the ball stays in the yard, we've got a good chance to make a it."
The Angels will send left-hander Tyler Skaggs to the mound in hopes he can repeat his most recent effort. Skaggs (1-5, 4.86 ERA) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings of a 3-1 loss to the A's on Sept. 6. He matched his season high with nine strikeouts and walked one.
"That's much more in line with what he can do," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Orange County Register after the game. "I thought he made some great adjustments between (starts). He had great tempo with his delivery. His command was much better. First-pitch strikes. Every marker was in a positive direction."
Skaggs was shaky in his previous three outings, including a 7-6 win against the Astros on Aug. 26. He allowed five runs (four earned) and six hits in five innings, but was spared the loss when the Angels came from behind in the eighth inning.
Skaggs is 2-2 in five career starts against Houston with a 3.38 ERA, his best numbers against any AL West team.
|Last Updated: 2/20/2018 10:50:44 PM EST|