Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros

By Saxon Baird

After losing three out of the four in the Bronx against the New York Yankees, the Angels return home to Anaheim to face the lowly Houston Astros. Despite the Astros having the worst record in the majors, the Angels have won just 6 of their 13 games against  Houston this season.

Jun 30, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) turns a double play over Houston Astros left fielder J.D. Martinez (14) during the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels will trot out a line-up that is riddled with injuries including Howie Kendrick and Albert Pujols on the DL. However, the Angels hope to get a boost with the return of Peter Bourjos.

Here are the match-ups:

Game 1: Brad PeacockJerome Williams (7:05 PST)

Peacock offers a plus fastball and an impressive knuckball but hasn’t been able to translate it into any kind of real success in the majors. As a starter in 2013, Peacock is sporting a 6.29 ERA with 19 BBs in 34 1/3 innings but he does have 34 strikeouts.

The Angels will also be sending out a struggling starter in Jerome Williams who after a promising start to the season has since struggled. In July,Williams posted a ERA over 9 and he hasn’t been much better in August with an ERA of 7.36 with 9 runs in just 11 innings of work.

Game 2: Dallas KeuchelGarrett Richards (6:05 PST)

Since the Angels finally committed to Garrett Richards as a starter, Richards has made the move seem like a smart one allowing just 7 earned runs in 26 innings of work and keeping opponents batting average to .222. Unfortunately, the run support has not been there for Richards with the Angels going only 1-3 with Richards on the hill in those four recent starts. Look for Richards to continue to finish the season strong with a good outing against the struggling Astros.

Game 3: Brad Oberholtzer – Jason Vargas (12:35 PST)

Since being recalled from Triple-A, the 23 year-old Oberholtzer has been on the few bright spots in the Astros rotation. In three games as a starter, Oberholtzer has allowed just two runs in just over 20 innings of work. He’ll try and continue his success in hopes of solidifying a spot in next year’s Astros rotation when he goes up against Jason Vargas. Fresh off the diasbled list, Vargas had moments in his first start since June against the Yankees but fell victim to the long-ball allowing to 2 home runs in just over 4 innings of work. Look for Vargas to be on a pitch limit as the Angels try and ease him back into the rotation for the final stretch of 2013.