Following a 4-5 homestand, the Los Angeles Angels begin a nine-game road trip starting with an important series against the division rival Houston Astros.
This is the third series between the two teams, and so far the Angels have gone 3-4 against the Astros.
When the two clubs last met on April 20, the Angels left Houston with a half-a-game lead for the top spot in the American League West. However, since then, the Angels’ dreams of winning the division are all but gone as the Astros have skyrocketed to 12.5 games ahead of L.A. in the standings.
The Angels’ playoff hopes now seem likely to rest on their ability to win a Wild Card spot, where they sit 4.5 games behind the Cleveland Guardians.
Game 1: 5:10 p.m. PT
The Angels turn to Michael Lorenzen in the series opener hoping he can provide more innings than he did his last time out when he went just three innings.
Overall, Lorenzen has been highly inconsistent in his first season as a full-time starter, sometimes providing his team with gems and sometimes lasting just a few innings or allowing a lot of runs to come across.
In 68 innings this year, Lorenzen has posted a 4.24 ERA with 52 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP.
Christian Javier starts for the Astros coming off a start where he threw seven no-hit innings with 13 strikeouts against the New York Yankees.
Javier is in the midst of a fantastic season for Houston, posting a 2.73 ERA in 62.2 innings with 81 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP.
Game 2: 1:10 p.m. PT
Patrick Sandoval will start the middle game for L.A. trying to build on his impressive season.
The southpaw holds a 2.63 ERA in 65 innings with 65 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP this season. Sandoval has turned in three consecutive strong starts, allowing two runs or fewer in all of them and going six innings in two of them and five in the other.
José Urquidy takes the ball for the Astros with the intention of turning around his somewhat disappointing season.
The right-hander was expected to take a step forward and become a big piece in the Astros’ rotation, but he’s posted a 4.36 ERA in 74.1 innings with 55 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP.
However, he has been impressive in his last two outings, pitching 13 innings combined and giving up just two runs in them on five total hits.
Game 3: 11:10 a.m. PT
José Suarez starts the final game for the Angels. The left-hander has not had a ton of success this season, pitching to a 4.36 ERA in 33 innings with 34 strikeouts and a 1.64 WHIP, and was previously optioned to the Minor Leagues due to his struggles.
However, since being recalled, he has been much more effective, throwing 15.1 innings across three games and giving up just four runs. In his last outing against the Seattle Mariners, he threw six innings with just one run allowed.
The Astros turn to another one of their impressive starters with Framer Valdez. The southpaw is coming off a start where he threw eight scoreless innings against the New York Mets.
On the season, the Valdez owns a 2.65 ERA in 95 innings to go along with 80 strikeouts and a 1.12 WHIP.
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