Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Houston Astros, September 19-September 22

LGFT(?) Trevor Crowe - Bob Levey

After the showdown in Kansas City, the Indians return home for their final homestand, with a visit from the Houston Astros.

We haven't seen the Astros since mid-April when Brett Myers was still in the rotation. This critical four game set is scheduled for Thursday and Friday at 7:05 PM, Saturday at 6:05 PM start times and a matinee on Sunday at 1:05 PM. After the game, they get their final day off of the season before the White Sox arrive for a two game quickie.

Scoreboard Watch: Orioles at Rays, Rangers at Royal, Giants at Yankees, [White Sox at Tigers, Blue Jays at Red Sox, Twins at A's]

Team in a Box

Houston Astros

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

51-100

Runs/Game

3.9

12th

Runs/Game

5.3

15th

AL West

5th

OBP

301

15th

H/9

9.6

14th

Last 10

4-5

SLG

382

12th

BB/9

3.9

15th

Last 30

11-18

Steals

108

6th

SO/9

6.7

14th

*all stats except records are through Tuesday/s results.

As noted in my first preview for the Astros, the goal this year was to win 63 games, or avoid 100 losses. That obviously will not occur. Now the goal must be to avoid 110 losses which will require just 2 more wins this season. With ten games to go that should be attainable, as long as it isn't against us. But looking at the numbers above, you can see why they have lost two-thirds of their games. They don't get on base and pitch pretty horrifically. They also are second to last in fielding and have the second most errors. They have also used 51 different players this season.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

SS

Jonathan Villar

S

190

287

364

378

107

2B

Jose Altuve

R

623

286

317

368

90

RF

Trevor Crowe

S

144

246

299

336

76

DH

Brett Wallace

L

274

227

292

442

100

3B

Matt Dominguez

R

545

241

284

408

89

1B

Chris Carter

R

540

218

315

444

108

LF

Marc Krauss

L

116

202

241

358

64

C

Carlos Corporan

S

184

232

295

381

86

CF

Brandon Barnes

R

419

245

295

349

78

If Trevor Crowe is your #3 hitter, something has gone wrong. Villar has been decent so far. Altuve might be the one guy who sticks around for the next five seasons. Wallace, Dominguez and Carter all have former top prospect pedigrees, but have yet to click. Dominguez is the youngest and therefore should have the best chance to stick. The rest of the bench is slim pickings as well: J.D. Martinez (83 OPS+), L.J. Hoes (92), Brandon Laird (86), Jimmy Paredes (40), Jake Elmore (82), Marwin Gonzalez (59), Cody Clark (31 PA) and Matt Pagnozzi (7 PA).

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Sept 19

Dallas Keuchel (Jimenez)

L

5.17

141.0

79

10.9

3.1

7.1

Sept 20

Brett Oberholtzer (McAllister)

L

2.98

60.1

137

8.5

1.3

5.8

Sept 21

Paul Clemens (Kazmir)

R

5.54

63.1

74

9.8

3.1

5.8

Sept 22

Erik Bedard (Kluber)

L

4.60

139.0

89

8.9

4.7

7.8

Another series where we get three lefties. The Astros are currently using a six man rotation. We miss righties Brad Peacock (77 ERA+) and Lucas Harrell (69). Keuchel is the Astros' seventh round pick from 2009 who relieved in the first inning of the 19-6 laugher on April 20. He gave up seven runs (three earned) in just 2.2 innings. He has been in the rotation since May. Over his last five starts, he has a 6.00 ERA, 1.778 WHIP and 7.7 K/9. Oberholtzer was an eighth rounder by the Braves in 2008 and came over in the July 2011 trade for our very own Michael Bourn. He made his debut against the Indians on April 21 in relief. He pitched two innings, giving up three hits, two of them solo shots by Santana and Stubbs. Since he joined their rotation on July 31, he has a 2.38 ERA, 1.038 WHIP and 5.9 K/9. Clemens was a seventh round pick by the Braves in 2008 that also arrived in the Bourn deal. He debuted on April 9 this year. He pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief in the 19-6 blowout. He joined the rotation on August 27 and in three starts and has a 3.24 ERA, 1.380 WHIP and 2.2 K/9. Bedard only pitched four innings in that April 21 game as he was on a pitch count. He allowed two runs, two hits, two walks and had eight strikeouts. In his last five starts he has a 5.65 ERA, 1.744 WHIP and 5.7 K/9.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Josh Fields

R

5.73

33.0

72

7.6

3.8

9.3

Chai-Jen Lo

R

5.17

15.2

80

7.5

5.7

7.5

Josh Zeid

R

4.87

20.1

85

10.2

4.4

5.8

I pulled these three from the Astros MLB depth chart. Hopefully that is accurate, because each has struggled, albeit in fairly small sample sizes. Fields is a former first round pick by the Mariners in 2008. He made his debut this April but did not pitch in our earlier series. Since his first save on August 5, he has a 5.02 ERA, 0.977 WHIP and 10.0 K/9. Lo was signed as an amateur free agent prior to the 2009 season. He opened the season with the Tri-City ValleyCats (Troy, NY-New York-Penn League A-) and skipped AAA with only 17 minor league appearances this year. He made his debut on July 31. Most of the damage to his numbers was the September 2 outing against the Twins where they tagged him for four runs. Zeid is a former tenth round pick by the Phillies in 2009 who came over in the Hunter Pence trade. He made his debut on July 30. Other bullpen options include former starter Jordan Lyles (76 ERA+), Rhiner Cruz (121), Philip Humber (52), Kevin Chapman (15.2 IP), David Martinez (8.1 IP) and Jorge De Leon (5.2 IP),

On the Shelf

  • C Jason Castro (right knee cyst) - 15-day DL, out for season
  • CF Robbie Grossman (strained right oblique) - 15-day DL, no timetable for return
  • C Max Stassi (concussion) - 15-day DL, could be activated Sept 20
  • P Alex White (right elbow-Tommy John) - 60-day DL, out for season

Castro was probably their best hitter before going down. Former Tribesman White has missed all of this season.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

2

1

667

26

13

667

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

10

11

476

105

105

500

*Does not include 2013 stats

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