PREVIEW: Astros look to rebound, take series after loss on Saturday

May 8, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Hunter Brown (58) throws to the plate in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

PREVIEW: Astros look to rebound, take series after loss on Saturday

A series victory is on the line for both teams, as the Astros and White Sox look to finish out the week with an extra notch in the win column.

The Astros will be concluding a nine-game road trip following this game. So far, they have come away with a series loss against Seattle and a win against the Angels, prior to forcing a rubber game with Chicago this afternoon.

The Astros had a rough night offensively, driving in just one run on eight hits and not hitting the scoreboard until the seventh inning. Mauricio Dubon pushed across the only run for Houston on an infield single.

Despite the loss, Jeremy Pena had a three-hit night after going 0-for-3 the night before.

Brandon Bielak gave up just one run through five innings despite giving up eight hits, and Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek put together solid performances out of the pen. It fell apart late for Rafael Montero in the eighth, giving up two runs on three hits, breaking the tie.

Hunter Brown will likely get the start for the Astros in this afternoon’s matchup against Lucas Giolito. Brown is 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP this season. He’s been one of the more reliable arms for the Astros as a 24-year-old this year. With that said, he struggled a bit in his last start giving up four runs on nine hits in just 4.1 innings against the Angels in Anaheim last week.

Giolito will toe the slab for Chicago, touting a 2-2 record with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in eight starts this season. He’s pitched well in his last two starts giving up just three runs in his last 13 innings with 16 strikeouts.

Both teams enter with the same overall batting average at .238, ranking seventh in the American League. However, Chicago snapped their three-game losing streak with a win last night, as the Astros killed their three-game win streak. This game could be viewed as a potential momentum shift heading into next week.

The Astros and Sox both rank among the bottom third in baseball in most offensive metrics; however, despite the plethora of injuries to Houston’s rotation, they have remained one of the top teams in baseball on the rubber. The Astros, to this point, are tied for third in team ERA and are in the top 10 in batting average against.

Houston currently sits in third place in the division at 20-19, just a half-game behind the Angels. With a win today and an Angels loss in Cleveland, the Astros could jump into second place.

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