MLB PREVIEWS |

Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros Preview and Predictions 09-22-2019


Justin Verlander looks to post 20 victories in a season for the first time since he was the American League MVP and Cy Young winner in 2011 when he takes the mound for the Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon against the visiting Los Angeles Angels. Verlander is also 11 strikeouts away from becoming the 18th pitcher in major-league history to register 3,000 in a career as the Astros try to maintain their hold of baseball's best record.

Houston (101-54) needs one victory or an Oakland loss to clinch its third straight AL West title but came up short Saturday 8-4 despite rookie outfielder Yordan Alvarez's 27th homer and a pair of doubles from Kyle Tucker as its six-game winning streak ended. Verlander, who leads the majors with a 0.79 WHIP and .169 opponents' batting average, will oppose rookie Jose Rodriguez in the series finale as the Astros own a 10-4 lead in the season series. The Angels won for just the third time in 12 games overall Saturday as Kole Calhoun launched his career-high 33rd homer and extended his hitting streak to five games (8-for-21). Los Angeles received nine hits in 18 at-bats from its top four hitters in the order Saturday, including leadoff batter David Fletcher's solo homer and two singles.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FS West (Los Angeles), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Jose Rodriguez (0-0, 1.84 ERA) vs. Astros RH Justin Verlander (19-6, 2.50)

Rodriguez gets his first major-league start after stringing together four straight scoreless outings that totaled nine innings with three hits and seven walks allowed. The 24-year-old Venezuelan gave up one hit and three walks across three innings against the New York Yankees on Tuesday with two strikeouts. Rodriguez is expected to open for lefty Jose Suarez (2-6, 7.42 ERA), who has given up 12 runs over 5 2/3 innings in his last two outings.

Verlander limited Texas to four hits and two walks over six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts Tuesday to earn his fourth victory in the last five decisions. The Virginia native has served up a career-high 34 homers this season but just one in his last five trips to the mound. Fletcher is 5-for-14 with a homer and Albert Pujols has gone deep twice in 42 at-bats against Verlander, who is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts versus the Angels this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. Houston 1B Yuli Gurriel, who missed Friday's game due to illness, extended his hitting streak to five contests Saturday and owns homers in three of the past four.

2. Pujols, who belted his 661st career double Saturday to move within four of George Brett for sixth in major league history, needs one hit for 3,200 in his career.

3. The Astros have a one-half game lead on the Yankees (101-55) for the best record in the majors and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Prediction

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Stadium

Minute Maid Park
Houston, Texas, USA.
Capacity: 43,836

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Last Injuries

houston-astros Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB

los-angeles-angels Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB