Monday night features an interleague game between two West teams as the San Francisco Giants (7-10) travel to Minute Maid Park to take on the Houston Astros (6-9). This will be the first game of a three-game set, and first pitch is scheduled for 9:10 pm ET.
For the Giants, they come into this one having lost three of their last four. Over the weekend, they dropped two out of three against the Dodgers. They enter Monday’s game five games back of the first-place Colorado Rockies.
The Astros have lost five in a row, including being swept by the Athletics over the weekend. In that span, they blew saves in two of those games and have struggled to find much consistency. They will look to regroup at home Monday as they currently sit five and a half games behind Oakland for the division lead.
The pitching matchup for this game will feature Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 9.22 ERA) for the Astros. The starter for the Giants has not been announced at the time of this writing, but there is a belief that it will be Logan Webb.
By The Numbers
Despite scoring just five runs combined in three games, the Astros still rank as one of the best offenses in the majors. They currently rank 4th in runs per game at 5.29. For the Giants, they come in at 14th averaging 4.44 per game.
On the defensive end, neither of these teams have been particularly sharp. The Astros currently rank 23rd in runs allowed as they are allowing opponents an average of 4.86 runs per game. The Giants come in 28th, allowing 5.69 runs per game.
Giants Look To Bounce Back Against Struggling Astros
While the Giants are not playing particularly well right now, they may be catching the Astros at the right time. If they can get into the Astros bullpen early, they should have an opportunity to put up some runs against a rather young and inexperienced group of pitchers.
For San Francisco, their best hitter to date has been center fielder Mike Yastrzemski. He is hitting .322/.452/.661 with four home runs, 12 runs batted in and 14 runs scored. Donovan Solano has also been doing well at second base. In 55 at-bats, he is hitting .455/.475/.636 with a home run, 14 runs batted in, and eight runs scored.
Astros Hope Homefield Will Reverse Fortunes
The Astros are coming off a rough road trip and have to rely on a bunch of unproven arms for success. There is no denying that injuries have played a role in their rough start as they are without Justin Verlander, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, Roberto Osuna, and others. Still, no one is going to be feeling sorry for them anytime soon.
They do need starter Lance McCullers Jr. to pitch better than he has to date. After not pitching at all last season due to Tommy John surgery, he is currently sporting a record of 1-1 with a 9.22 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, and has struck out 11 in 13.2 innings. He has looked brilliant at times, but generally has one bad inning that has shipwrecked his starts.
On the offensive side, Carlos Correa continues to hit well. He is currently hitting .345/.429/.527 with two home runs, six runs batted in, and five runs scored. One player who is not hitting well, though, is Jose Altuve. The second baseman has been in quite a slump hitting .182/.260/.348, but he does have three home runs to date.
Like The Astros To Rebound
After a frustrating road trip, I think the Astros will rebound playing back at Minute Maid Park. Lance McCullers has shown dominating stuff, but has not been able to consistently put together a full game.
With a Giants team that has struggled and 4-7 on the road thus far, I think the Astros are in a good position to take the first game of the series.