Our Astros open up a 3 game weekend series against the Buccos tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston. First pitch is at 8:05 pm ET.
Heading into this game, the Pirates are in 5th place in the NL Central with a 25-28 (.472) record. The Astros sit a game and a half back of the Bucs, sporting an unimpressive 23-29 (.442) mark. They are in the NL Central cellar.
The Pirates have a 10-17 (.370) road record this year, while the Astros are 12-16 (.429) at MMP. Tonight's chuckers:
Mike Hampton, LHP - Houston Astros
3-4, 5.07 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
55 IP / 36 K / 22 B
Hampton last faced the Pirates on May 31 in Pittsburgh, and had an impressive showing:
7.0 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / WIN!
Jeff Karstens, RHP - Pittsburgh Pirates
2-2, 4.83 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
50.1 IP / 22 K / 17 BB
Karstens last faced the Astros on May 30 in Pittsburgh, and also had one heck of a game:
7.0 IP /6 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / WIN
Two guys who aren't exactly the aces of their respective pitching staffs, but have had recent success against these teams nonetheless. We could be in for an unexpected pitching duel, or an absolute blowout. We'll find out in a couple of hours!