Coming off their first road series win of the season, the Astros open a three-game series against the Giants tonight at AT&T Park.
Here is the Astros’ lineup:
2B Jose Altuve
RF Brian Bixler
SS Jed Lowrie
LF J.D. Martinez
CF Justin Maxwell
3B Chris Johnson
1B Matt Downs
C Jason Castro
RHP Bud Norris
Here are the pitching match-ups:
Tuesday — RHP Bud Norris (5-3, 4.65) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (7-4, 3.26)
Wednesday — LHP J.A. Happ (4-6, 4.54) vs. RHP Matt Cain (7-2, 2.41)
Thursday — LHP Wandy Rodriguez (5-4, 3.27) vs. LHP Barry Zito (5-3, 3.24)
- It won’t be a surprise if runs are hard to come by for both teams in the series. This season, the Giants’ home park has been as pitcher friendly as it ever has. AT&T Park is averaging only 5.94 runs per game this year, which is the second-fewest this year behind PNC Park (5.63).
- The Giants’ lack of home run production at home this season has been extraordinary. It’s comparable to a few Astros’ seasons in the cavernous Astrodome. San Francisco has hit only six home runs in its first 32 home games. That’s tied for the fourth fewest since 1961 in that many games. The Padres hit three homers through 32 home games in 1981, and the Astros hit four through 32 home games in 1971 and again in 1984.
- Giants previous low through both 32 and 33 home games is eight home runs in 1980. Their current16-game streak at home without a homer is the longest streak by a team since the 1990 Astros went 16 straight games with zero homers at the Astrodome.
- The Astros have played like a contending team at Minute Maid Park, but are still in the process of bringing that same degree of success on the road with them. Houston’s 8-20 record on the road is easily the worst in the Majors among teams with winning home records. The next worst is the Mets, who are 13-17 on the road.
- The Astros are nearly automatic in one-run games at home, not so on the road. They are 7-1 in one-run games at home and 2-9 in one-run games on the road.
- The Astros have won four of their last seven games after losing each of their previous eight contests. Houston has just eight wins in 28 road games this season.
- Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie, who leads the Astros with 12 home runs this season, has homered in three of his last four games. Lowrie’s 12 homers are the most among all ML shortstops this season.
- Lowrie’s 12 home runs are the most homers by an Astros middle infielder through 60 games in team history. Craig Biggio had 11 homers through 60 games in 1993.
- Dating to last season, Astros pitcher Bud Norris has been consistently inconsistent away from home, while Giants Madison Bumgarner has owned the opposition at his home yard.Norris is 2-3 with a 6.45 ERA in his last 10 road starts, and Bumgarner is 9-1 with a 1.56 ERA in his last 10 home starts.
- The Astros certainly don’t have the offense to blame for their recent struggles in the win column. Houston has been one of the top five hitting teams in the majors over the past few weeks. The Astros are averaging 5.54 runs per game since May 28, which ranks fourth in the Majors.
- The Giants’ Melky Cabrera has 87 hits through 61 games, which is the second-most in that span in Giants history since 1958. Willie Mays had 92 hits through 61 games in 1958.
- The Giants, who have split their last six games overall, have won five of their last seven home games against the Astros.
- Madison Bumgarner is 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA in five home starts this season and is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in two career starts against Houston.
- Houston has lost each of Bud Norris’ last three starts after winning eight of his first nine starts of the season. Norris has 76 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings this season.The Giants have failed to hit a home run in each of their last 16 home games – matching the longest any Major League team has gone without a homer at home since the 1990 Astros.