Preview: Astros at Diamondbacks
Weather information is currently unavailable. 5-Day Forecast GAME: Houston Astros (86-75) at Arizona Diamondbacks (78-83)
DATE/TIME: Sunday, October 04 – 3:10 PM EST
WHERE: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
The Houston Astros can clinch their first postseason berth since 2005 with a victory over the host Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday in the regular-season finale. Houston, which lost more than 100 games for three straight seasons (2011-13) and averaged 104 over the last four years, sits one game behind Texas in the American League West and one ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the final wild-card spot.
An Astros win coupled with a Rangers victory over the Angels on Sunday puts Houston in the AL wild-card game against the Yankees on Tuesday, and the Astros would host if New York loses in Baltimore. If Houston wins and Texas loses, those teams meet in a one-game playoff in Arlington, Texas on Monday with the winner claiming the West title and the loser going to Yankee Stadium. Should the Astros lose and the Angels win, Houston hosts Los Angeles on Monday with the final wild-card spot on the line. Astros rookie Lance McCullers snapped a seven-game winless streak (0-4) in his last turn and opposes Robbie Ray on Sunday.
TV: 3:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston), FSN Arizona
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Lance McCullers (6-7, 3.21 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks LH Robbie Ray (5-12, 3.50)
McCullers allowed two runs while striking out seven in six innings of a 3-2 victory in Seattle on Monday. The Floridian, who turned 22 on Friday, posted a 3.27 ERA during his winless streak and recorded six quality starts in that span. McCullers, who is 2-6 with a 4.68 ERA in 11 road starts this season, has never faced Arizona.
Ray settled for a no-decision after allowing three runs (two earned) and seven hits in six innings of Arizona’s 4-3 victory over Colorado on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Tennesse native is 2-8 with a 4.42 ERA in 14 starts since the All-Star Game after going 3-4 with a 2.16 ERA in eight turns prior to the break. Ray allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings of a 4-1 loss to Houston on Aug. 2, falling to 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in two starts versus the Astros
1. Houston clinched its second straight road series victory with Saturday’s 6-2 win after going 1-12-1 in its previous 14 sets away from home.
2. If 3B Jed Lowrie or CF Jake Marisnick homers Sunday, it would give the Astros a major league-record 12 players with 10 or more blasts.
3. Houston is 16-3 in interleague play – 8-1 on the road – and with a victory Sunday would become the first team to win 17 interleague games in a season. Oakland (2002), Boston (2006) and Minnesota (2006) all went 16-2.
PREDICTION: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2