Angels @ Astros
July 22-24, 2016
The Astros made a highly anticipated roster move on Thursday night, sending AJ Reed down to AAA and calling up…
Friday, July 22 – 7:10pm CDT
Matt Shoemaker (5-9, 4.08) vs. Lance McCullers (4-4, 3.61)
Shoemaker is beginning to make an early bid for Astro-killer status. The modern-day Francisco Cordova has piled up the innings against Houston this season, averaging over seven innings per start with a 2.02 ERA in those starts. Fortunately this hasn’t necessarily translated into wins for the Angels who are 1-2 in Shoemaker’s starts against the Astros. Shoemaker is coming off his best start of the year, a complete-game five-hit shutout of the Pale Hose in which he walked none and struck out 13.
McCullers deserved better than to get a loss in last weekend’s 1-0 game in Seattle. He has one start against the Angels this year, allowing one run over 5.2 innings in a June no-decision.
Saturday, July 23 – 6:10pm CDT
Jered Weaver (8-7, 5.02) vs. Collin McHugh (6-6, 4.25)
The beginning of the season wasn’t very kind to Weaver but he’s riding some recent momentum with two straight starts of allowing one run. The Astros have not had any trouble with him, though: in two starts against Houston he is 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA and a whopping seven home runs allowed.
Four walks aside, McHugh last start in Seattle was a pretty good game, shutting out the M’s over six innings with ten strikeouts and earning his first win since May 30. He has also been effective against the Angels this year with a 2.77 ERA against them in two starts.
Sunday, July 24 – 1:10pm CDT
Tim Lincecum (2-3, 6.59) vs. Mike Fiers (6-4, 4.75)
Lincecum’s return from the scrap heap has been all downhill since his six-inning one-run debut. The Astros played a part in that, getting five runs in less than five innings in his third start. He hasn’t finished a 6th inning or allowed fewer than three runs since his debut and his WHIP has nudged over 2.
Fiers may be listed as Houston’s probable starter right now, but after his bad start in Oakland I wouldn’t be surprised to see that change before Sunday. Fiers now has two straight games in which he didn’t make it out of the 4th inning and I have to wonder if his outburst at Hinch in the dugout might, combined with Feldman’s huge resurgence in the bullpen, might be the beginning of the end for him as a starter. Fiers has only faced the Angels once this year and it wasn’t good: seven runs allowed over 3.2 innings back in late May.