The Astros are coming off the win yesterday, and look to Nelson Figueroa to put together the first win streak of the season. But they'll be facing Ryan Dempster. Here's what you need to know:
*Dempster is one of 15 Canadians to play in the Majors this season.
*Dempster throws a four-seam fastball at 90.3mph (so far this season), that's off from his 2010 average of 91mph - but obviously not by much. He mixes in a slider 30.4% of the time that has been sitting at about 85mph, and a split-fingered fastball at about 82mph.
*Dempster has managed to get batters to swing at 22.6% of his pitches outside of the zone in his two starts - that's down almost 10% from 2010.
*In Dempster's last five starts against the Astros, he's 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA/1.50 WHIP, and an average game score of 46, but three of four starts against Houston in 2010 were quality starts.
*He threw an average of 114.5 pitches in those four 2010 starts.
*Dempster is 0-2 this season with a 6.59 ERA/1.46 WHIP, with lefties posting a .972 OPS (.800 OPS for RHBs).
*Interesting little split here: when Dempster is ahead in the count, opponents are hitting .308/.308/.538 (.846 OPS), but with the batter ahead, that's .176/.333/.412 (.745 OPS). And with an even count, that turns into a .417/.417/.750 (1.167 OPS).
*With RISP, hitters are 5x11 with a double, triple, two HRs, and three walks (1.844 OPS).