MLB Game Preview - Angels v Astros

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5
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
LA Angels0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 571
Houston0 0 0 1 0 0 0 9 x 10122
10
  W: C. McHugh (6-2)   L: T. Buttrey (0-1)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 22, 2018
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 41,822

Astros continue series vs. Angels without SS Correa

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros

  1. The Angels are coming off the largest loss in franchise history yesterday, falling to the A's, 21-3. LA allowed 38 runs total in three games against Oakland, the most the team has ever allowed in a three-game series.
  2. The Astros dropped two of three against Seattle, including a 9-0 loss in the rubber game that tied Houston's largest margin of defeat this season. Houston is 13-22 (.371) against AL West opponents at home this season, the fourth-worst mark by any team at home against divisional foes.
  3. Gerrit Cole has 260 strikeouts over his first 30 career starts with the Astros. Only Chris Sale (287 K's with Boston in 2017) and Nolan Ryan (279 K's with Texas in 1979) have piled up more strikeouts through the first 30 career starts with any team in AL history.
  4. Over his last four starts, Andrew Heaney has a 2.25 ERA and a 9.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24.0 innings. In four starts against Houston this season, Heaney is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
  5. Since August 1, Shohei Ohtani has a 1.149 OPS and Mike Trout has a 1.103 OPS. That ranks first and second, respectively, in the AL over that time (minimum 100 PA). Trout has a .463 OBP this season, which is on pace to be the highest by a qualified AL player since Jason Giambi in 2001 (.477 OBP).
  6. Alex Bregman is one of four players all-time aged 24 or younger with 30+ home runs, 50+ doubles and 100+ RBI in a single season (RBI became an official stat in 1920). The other three players are Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Lou Gehrig.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/21/2018 thru 9/23/2018

HOUSTON -- Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, mired in an extended batting slump linked to debilitating back soreness, will not play this weekend against the Los Angeles Angels.

Correa (.238, 14 home runs, 62 RBIs) missed 36 games after landing on the 10-day disabled list on June 26. Presumed healthy upon his return, Correa has struggled instead, posting a .174/.257/.223 slash line with only four extra-base hits in 140 plate appearances since being reinstated from the DL on Aug. 10.

"I don't like it by any means, but it's just the reality for us," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Correa and his lingering back woes. "I think for Carlos to be who he is and what he can do for us we've got to get him to feel better.

"I'm not concerned that it's going to impact too much longer, but I don't like that one of our best players isn't feeling great."

That Correa, who slashed .315/.391/.550 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs in 109 games last season, initiated his slump well before going on the DL is another concern.

Correa last had an OPS above .900 on May 14. Since then, he owns a .205/.286/.328 line in 280 plate appearances.

"He's a perfectionist by nature so I think performance-wise he always wants to be elite," Hinch said. "From a comfort standpoint, he hasn't looked comfortable. He's been able to maintain that defensively, but it's looked like he's had a little bit of a governor on his swing when he's been up to bat.

"I haven't seen him let it go really since the time he's been off the DL.

"Of course it weighs on him. He wants to be out there, he wants to be good, he wants to hit in the middle of the order, he wants to lead us to a division title and beyond. He's frustrated."

Right-hander Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.67 ERA) will make what is tentatively scheduled to be his penultimate start of the season on Saturday for the Astros (96-57), who clinched a postseason berth with an 11-3 victory on Friday. With his next strikeout, Verlander will set a season career high of 270, eclipsing his previous best set in 2009.

After a rough August, Verlander has rebounded in September, going 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 21 innings and three starts. He is 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA in four starts against the Angels this season and 12-9 with a 3.12 ERA in 24 career starts against them.

Right-hander Jaime Barria (10-9, 3.61 ERA) will make the 25th start of his rookie season and 12th on the road. He has an active streak of 15 scoreless innings away from Angel Stadium and has compiled a 2.53 ERA on the road. Barria is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA in three starts against the Astros this season.

About the only thing of interest that remains for the slumping Angels (75-79), who lost for the sixth time in eight games, is the pursuit by All-Star center fielder Mike Trout of a third American League Most Valuable Player award. Trout, the league MVP in 2014 and 2016 and runner-up in 2012, 2013 and 2015, clubbed his 37th home run in the series opener.

Trout has homered in consecutive games and four times in the last five games to move to within four homers of his career high of 41 set in 2015. He finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs after entering the weekend leading the majors in on-base percentage (.463), slugging (.629), OPS (1.092), and adjusted OPS (199).

"Nah, I don't even pay attention to it,' Trout said of the MVP chase. "I'm just trying to finish strong and don't give up any at-bats because they're running out."

Updated September 22, 2018

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