The Astros enjoy a 12.5 game lead in the AL West. However, over their last 10 games, the club has been struggling somewhat, going 5-5 while averaging 3.9 runs per game and allowing 2.7 runs per game. Their pitching is in top form, but their offense needs to get something going and fast if they want to continue to be as dominant as they have been. This season Houston is 6-4 against the Angels.
Los Angeles continues to cling close to their playoff hopes, although they have been faltering lately, going 5-5 in their last 10 games and just dropping a series against Texas, losing three games out of four. In their last 10 games, the Angels have scored 4.3 runs per game and allowed 3.7.
Game 1 Starters – Collin McHugh (RHP) vs Parker Bridwell (RHP)
In just six starts this season after coming back from the disabled list for elbow issues, McHugh has pitched to a 4.01 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 33.2 innings while commanding an 8.29 K/9. The right-hander in his last three starts has pitched 17 innings, allowing 10 earned runs on 26 hits and striking out 20. This will be his first start against the Angels this season.
Bridwell comes into Friday with a 2.92 ERA and 1.18 WHIP on the season. In his last three games pitched for Los Angeles, he has allowed only four earned runs over 18 innings pitched, striking out nine and walking just two. Of pitchers who have made at least ten starts for the Angels this season, Bridwell has the lowest ERA by nearly a full run.
|Astros Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Angels Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
Alex Bregman has been unbelievable as of late, going 11-25 over the course of the last week with two doubles and three home runs. His OPS during this span is 1.324. Josh Reddick has eight hits and five RBIs in his last six games, with only two strikeouts in 23 plate appearances.
Marwin Gonzalez is 4-23 with seven strikeouts in his last six games. He has gone hitless in five of his last ten appearances. Derek Fisher is batting .167 in his last 18 games, with just two extra-base hits. The outfielder has just four hits and nine strikeouts in his last 27 at-bats.
Kole Calhoun has a 1.019 OPS in his last seven games, going 7-25 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs. He is hitting .309 in August with as many walks as he has strikeouts at 12. Luis Valbuena has 14 RBIs in 18 games so far this month. He is batting .400 with three home runs in his last six games.
Mike Trout is a middling 6-29 in his last seven games, although three of his six hits have been for home runs. Andrelton Simmons finds himself in a slump with just five hits in his last 29 plate appearances, batting .185 over the course of the last week. Martin Maldonado is batting .180 in the entire month of August, with 16 strikeouts in 62 plate appearances.
Prediction: Astros 5 – 2 Angels
Both teams have been playing .500 ball as of late, but Houston’s pitching has just been so good this month it’s difficult to believe the Angels will do much of anything offensively tonight. Sure, Bridwell has been better than McHugh, but the Astros hitters are poised for a breakout game even without Altuve in the lineup.
Where to watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on ATTSW and FSW, and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers.
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