It’s not often that the Houston Astros are on the outside looking in for the American League West division lead, but that’s the case entering their game on the road against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
Houston Astros (-115, 9) vs. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels will look to improve their record to 4-1 in Griffin Canning’s starts on Wednesday, though the numbers have not been impress for Canning as he has yet to go more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his starts. Posting a 5.31 ERA with eight strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings.
While the bullpen behind Canning entered Tuesday eighth in the league in ERA, which is relatively on par with the Astros who were seventh in the league entering Tuesday, their expected fielding independent (xFIP) ranked 15th and was 0.95 points higher than their ERA.
The numbers point to regression for the Angels bullpen while the Astros xFIP is fifth and their bullpen last year led the league in ERA. Showing a track record of success and an ability to be consistent.
The Wednesday start for the Astros goes to Cristian Javier, who has a record of just 11-9 since the start of the 2022 season, but has registered a 2.76 ERA with 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
For his career, Javier has had success in keeping the Angels off guard with a 2.59 ERA and 14.9 strikeouts per nine innings in his eight career appearances against the Angels.
Without Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley in the lineup, the Astros offense has struggled relative to normal standards, ranked 16th among MLB teams in runs per game entering Tuesday, but averaging more than 4.6 runs per game on the road compared to just under 4.2 runs per game at home this season.
The Angels whole pitching staff has also had issues at home this season, posting a 5.08 home ERA compared to a 3.48 road ERA entering Tuesday night.
Between the regular season and postseason, the Astros have won 13 of Javier’s last 15 starts dating back to the 2022 season and with the Angels pitching having plenty of woes at home this season, the Astros success with Javier on the mound will continue on Wednesday.
The Play: Astros -115