Who We Got
Florida: 8-11, 5th place, 4GB
On the Road: 2-5
Vs. Houston: 0-0
Last ten games: 3-7
Runs scored/Against: 87/116
Houston: 8-10, 4th place, 3.5GB
At Home: 5-7
Last ten games: 8-2
Runs Scored/Runs Against: 60/79
Aaron Harang: 0-3, 8.31 ERA / 1.62 WHIP
Last three games:
(vLAD - Apr 21) 5.2IP, 10H/6ER, 2K:2BB
(@FLA- Apr 15) 4IP, 10H/8ER, 4K:2BB
(vCHC - Apr 11) 7IP, 4H/3ER, 7K:0BB
Bud Norris: 1-1, 4.26 ERA / 1.74 WHIP
Last three games:
(v. FLA - Apr 21) 5IP, 3H/3ER, 5K:2BB
(@StL - Apr 15) 5IP, 4H/0ER, 9K:3BB
(vPHI - Apr 9) 2.2IP, 6H/3ER, 3K:4BB
Why the Astros Will Win
Because these are two starting pitchers on different paths. There was talk about Aaron Harang getting skipped this start, but thankfully (for us), Dusty elected to throw him against Houston tonight - and maybe he'll pull a Zambrano and Suppan and head to the bullpen after a rough start tonight. In Harang's last two starts, he's thrown 9.2IP, allowing 20H/14ER. In Norris' last two starts, he has thrown 10IP, 7H/3ER, 14K:5BB.
Because it's well documented that the Astros kind of crush Harang. Blum is 10x17 (.588/.588/.882); Lee is 13x34 (.382/.389/.618); Berkman is 13x51, but with 7HR.
Or because Norris has never faced the Reds, though this could go either way. In his last two starts, Norris has held hitters to .189/.286/.297, and eleven total bases.
Why the Astros Will Lose
Because Norris can't seem to get out of the 6th. He hasn't recorded an out in the 6th inning yet this season, needing 82 pitches, 106 pitches, and 86 pitches to finish his outings (needing 82 pitches to get eight outs against the Phillies on the 9th).
Because after going 12-3 against Cincinnati in 2008, the Reds took 12 of 16 from Houston in 2009. If it wasn't for a Wandy win on September 27, the Reds would have won the last ten games versus Houston.
Because the Reds have six righties in the lineup, and Norris has allowed RHBs to hit .303/.343/.424 this season - though with a .455 BABIP.