The Astros try to get back on track this weekend when they make the first of four trips to Chicago, but this is the only trip to the south side to face the White Sox. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday — LHP Wandy Rodriguez (4-4, 3.14) vs. RHP Gavin Floyd (4-5, 5.32)
Saturday — RHP Jordan Lyles (1-1, 4.97) vs. LHP Chris Sale (7-2, 2.29)
Sunday— RHP Lucas Harrell (5-4, 4.70) vs. RHP Philip Humber (2-3, 5.68)
Here are some tidbits:
- The White Sox are 15-4 since May 17, which is the best record in the Major Leagues in that span.
- By contrast, the Astros are 2-10 since May 26, which is the worst record in the Major Leagues in that span.
- Despite its recent problems, Houston is hitting the ball much better so far in June than it did in the first couple months of the season. The Astros are hitting .296 in June, which leads the Majors. They hit .250 in April/May.
- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is batting .432 (16-for-37) since May 30. His 16 hits during this stretch are tied for the most in the Majors with Ryan Theriot of the Giants.
- Nine of Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie’s 10 home runs this season have come on a two-strike count.That’s the most in the Majors.
- The White Sox have more than doubled their opponents’ run production in the first inning, outscoring foes 45-17.
- Gavin Floyd has pitched well in Interleague Play over his career. He has a 2.43 ERA and a 1.95 opponents’ batting average against when playing NL clubs.
- But Floyd has struggled of late after getting off to a good start to 2012. He cannot blame lack of run support for his struggles, however. He was 3-3 with a 2.53 ERA in his first seven starts, but is 1-2 with a 11.90 ERA in his past four starts.
- Like Floyd, Wandy Rodriguez started the season strongly, but is coming off back-to-back poor starts in which he has struggled with allowing the longball. Rodriguez was 4-4 with a 2.14 ERA and four homers allowed in his first 10 starts, but in his last two starts he’s 0-0 with a 9.90 ERA and six homers allowed in 10 innings.
- Rodriguez uses his curveball 30 percent of the time, which through June 6 was the highest percentage of curveballs in the Majors (30.7 percent). The next highest is A.J. Burnett at 28.3 percent.