Series Preview: Houston Astros, April 19-21

Jose Altuve smacks an RBI single - Thearon W. Henderson

The Indians start their second road trip with the newest AL West member, the Houston Astros.

After not seeing the Astros, let alone Houston, for ten straight seasons, the Indians head back to Minute Maid Park to play the newest AL West squad. The three game set is scheduled for Friday April 19 at 8:10 PM, Saturday April 20 at 7:10 PM start times and a matinee on Sunday April 21 at 2:10 PM. After the game, they head to the Windy City to take on the White Sox.

Team in a Box

Houston Astros

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

4-11

Runs/Game

4.1

6th

Runs/Game

5.5

14th

AL West

5th

OBP

301

11th

H/9

9.3

10th

Last 10

3-7

SLG

398

9th

BB/9

4.0

14th

Last 30

N/A

Steals

4

11th

SO/9

5.5

14th

The goal to break 60 wins this year is not off to an auspicious start. With almost half the lineup and half the pitching staff jettisoned, the replacements have not fared any better. The lineup has really struggled getting on base, and with the youth they have, not much speed is evident. But the pitching is even worse than the hitting. They are second to last in ERA (5.00) and in the lower third in almost every other pitching category.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

2B

Jose Altuve

R

68

365

412

460

146

CF

Justin Maxwell

R

64

267

313

433

107

C

Jason Castro

L

55

222

236

352

63

DH

Chris Carter

R

63

246

317

491

123

1B

Carlos Pena

L

58

250

328

442

114

LF

JD Martinez

L

47

227

255

364

72

RF

Rick Ankiel

L

28

179

179

536

90

3B

Matt Dominguez

R

55

231

273

288

59

SS

Marwin Gonzalez

S

37

313

389

563

164

As poorly as the Tribe's strikeout numbers have been, the Astros still lead the AL in this category. With only two starters over thirty, retreads Pena and Ankiel, this lineup is very young, which shows in the overall numbers. Castro, Dominguez, Martinez and Ankiel all are below rough starts to the season. And the entire roster has only 4 stolen bases. The bench has not been any better save for outfielder Brandon Barnes. Brett Wallace, the former highly touted prospect is off to a 1 for 24 start with 2 walks and 17 strikeouts, for a lovely -53 OPS+. Yikes.

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

April 19

Lucas Harrell (Myers)

R

5.63

16.0

10.7

4.5

6.2

April 20

Philip Humber (Kazmir)

R

2.89

18.2

8.2

1.9

3.9

April 21

Erik Bedard (Jimenez)

L

7.04

7.2

4.7

7.0

7.0

Only Humber and Bud Norris have gotten off to decent starts, and we miss Norris on this visit. Harrell has had too many walks and Bedard has been downright Ubaldo-like. Humber has been very awful against the Tribe in the past, an 8.74 ERA in 5 starts, with a decent 8.7 K/9 but a horrific 1.985 WHIP. Harrell had one start last year against us, going seven strong innings.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Jose Veras

R

7.94

5.2

14.3

4,8

9.5

Rhiner Cruz

R

5.19

8.2

11.4

4.2

2.1

Hector Ambriz

R

4.32

8.1

15.1

1.1

4.3

When the two main cogs of your bullpen are LGFT castoffs, this is not a good thing. Veras has not been effective at all this year, but this has been a symptom of the entire pen as only one guy has an above average ERA+, and that is recent call-up lefty Dallas Keuchel. The other reliever most likely to be used is lefty Wesley Wright.

On the Shelf

  • P Travis Blackley (left shoulder strain) - 15-day DL, on minor league rehab
  • P Joshua Fields (right forearm strain) - 15-day DL, possibly late April
  • P Alex White (right elbow-Tommy John) - 60-day DL, out for season
  • LF Fernando Martinez (strained left oblique) - 15-day DL, on minor league rehab

LGFT Alex White will miss all of 2013 with the infamous TJ surgery. Fernando Martinez should end up back in left when he returns as JD Martinez has been in Bo Porter's doghouse most of the season.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2012

1

2

333

4

15

082

Last 5

1

2

333

4

15

082

Last 10

1

2

333

4

15

082

All-Time

8

10

444

79

92

431

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker