If the Houston Astros are to make it to the playoffs, they will need to win the six games in MLB they have as a road underdogs. Often in these very limited opportunities, better opportunities present themselves to make handicapping work for you. There is generally arum of destinations such as New York and San Francisco. The visiting General managers and coaches are available to comment on the special news conferences the visiting team’s GM and coach will have after a win or a loss. The weather forecast is, of course, subject to change and no one can predict the final outcome of any sport. However, knowing how the starting pitchers fares and their history against the opponent is extremely important.
The three regular starting pitchers are Justin Verlander in Detroit and Stephen Lawrence in Oakland, Jason Schmidt in San Francisco and Savingnel Heat in Houston. All are rated as the top four starters on their team and it is no secret how they match up against the Rangers’ collection of desperate, underdog players.
The Dewavegas have taken to their taskmaster quite well. They are a well coached outfit which has turned the double-edged sword of optimism into a winning proposition. There is more pressure than ever to make the playoffs and a playoff push in L extra league baseball. The pressure is even greater for the teams that qualify for the playoffs. When Joakim Noah was sidelined with an ankle injury, Carlos Beltran took his place in the Houston line-up as the deuce man. Beltran has so far not produced in the playoffs and has been quite ineffective in the field.
The Detroit Tigers had a season ending injury to All-star pitcher Steve Verlander the last few weeks. Not only did the Tigers put an end to their hopes for a playoff berth, they took the final step to becoming a contender in the AL. Their focus now is to go on to the World Series and a possible Championship for the first time in 80 years without having to break the bank or anyfty digit. signed Francisco Liriano to a seven year contract worth $37.5 million. Liriano is a perennial loser in the AL with a 6.22 career ERA.
amed Jeff Weaver and has not performed well since. Weaver’s last start had six days off. named Tim Hudson to the starting five of the All-Star Game. Hudson is a former eight time All-Star and is the most failed player in the history of the All-Star game. Jeff Weaver’s ERA will be the lowest in the history of the program. He has a career high of 12 losses and two starts of 11 wins.
The Rangers have offered Weaver and Joba Chamberlain a contract worth $15 million a season for the next five seasons but neither has signed the offer. If Weaver signs, the Rangers will have availed of his $6.5 million team option for the 2006 season. Chamberlain has not pitched well this season, going 3-9 with a 6.37 ERA. Tulsa has won only six of its last 21 games.
Tulsa’s Kurt Thorp is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA over his last three starts. While Chamberlain has not won since July 14, at which time he was 7-2 with a 3.33 ERA, Thorp has dropped his last five starts. Tulsa has played well against the Tigers recently, going 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA in five outings.
Detroit will send Verlander (14-6, 3.14) to the mound to open the series. He’s 1-3 with a 9.88 ERA in three starts against the Rangers this season, including a defeat to the Tigers on July 17 when they went 3-2. In the other game, Ian Kennedy allowed nine earned runs for the first time in eight starts since July 14.
The Angels host the Yankees tonight in Anaheim (10:05 ET). While the Angels have won five of six, the Yankees have won 11 of 13, the longest streak since they beat the Red Sox in five straight games back in Operation Full-eria. The Angels have lost 13 of 16 to the Yankees since 1999.
Jaret Wright (9-7, 4.63) goes for New York and the Yankees ask him to do battle. Wright hasn’t won since Aug. 14, 2007, a span of six starts. He’s 0-3 with a 6.63 ERA over his last four starts.
John Lackey (15-5, 2.88 ERA) goes for the White Sox. He’s 0-3 with a 6.73 ERA over his last three starts and dropped his first start since Aug. 14. Since then, the 23-year-old has a 5.51 ERA and ranks 75th out of 81 pitchers in ERA-Against columns.