The Detroit Tigers visit Minute Maid Park on Saturday to take on the defending champion Houston Astros. First pitch will be at 3:10 central. Detroit, after a bout of winning, has dropped 5 straight games. They now sit at 40-56, good enough for third place in the American League Central division, a division that is having a down year. They are 12 and a half games behind Cleveland for the division lead. Houston is 63-34 so far on the year, good enough for first place in the American League West division. They have a 4 game lead on the Mariners.
Michael Fulmer will be on the mound for Detroit in this game. He will need to improve in this game, as his record currently stands at 3-8. He also has a 4.11 ERA. For the Astros, Gerrit Cole will start. Cole is 9-2 so far this year, and has a 2.57 ERA. He looks poised to get his 10th win sometime in the near future, but he would like it to be Saturday. Houston is favored in this matchup: at -270.
Nicholas Castellanos is hitting the ball very well for Detroit. Looking at the team stat sheet, it could appear that he is carrying the team. He is hitting .306 on the year. He has also driven in 56 runs. He also adds 15 home runs to the stats. He leads the team in all these categories. In fact, he leads the team in every offensive category except for walks, triples, and stolen bases. The Tigers will need a good game from him in order to win this game. Jose Iglesias is also playing pretty well, hitting .272 and having driven in 34 runs. The Tigers could also rely on him to provide some offense, but any offense will need to be combined with a solid outing from Fulmer.
The Astros have quite a few players playing well. Jose Altuve is hitting .335, and has driven in 44 runs. He hasn’t hit with a tremendous amount of power, having only 9 home runs, but he also has 14 stolen bases. Hitting with more power is Alex Bregman, with 20 home runs. He is hitting .287, and has also driven in 63 runs. Looking at each team on paper, the Astros shouldn’t have too much trouble taking care of this one. Obviously, Houston will need a good game from Cole, but he had lived up to their expectations this season.
Astros Top Tigers
As good as Castellanos has been this year, the reality is that Houston is simply the better team in this matchup. Anything can happen in baseball, but more often than not, the better team wins. Cole will, as he has been all year long, deliver on expectations. He should go at least six innings, maybe give up a couple runs, and rely on his lineup to provide run support. The Astros should win this one. Take the Astros at -270.
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