The Houston Astros roll into town tonight to take on the Diamondbacks and both teams are in somewhat of a slump. We know about the D-backs troubles lately, but the Astros are 3-9 in August and 12-16 so far in the second half of the season. Of course, losing one of the best shortstops in the league — Carlos Correa — would have that impact on pretty much any team.
Zack Greinke will be the one tasked with shutting down the top offense in baseball. For the season, the Astros are at the top of pretty much every offensive category there is. They’ve slipped a little so far in the second half but losing Correa is the reason. They still have Jose Altuva — who’s hitting .362 — and George Springer, who’s hitting .305 with 28 home runs. Greinke will have his hands full tonight.
If there’s any reason for optimism for the D-backs it’s that they’ll be facing RHP Collin McHugh (0-1, 5.32 ERA). Although, that big ERA is mostly due to his last outing against the White Sox where he gave up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. If you remove that outing his ERA is a respectable 3.33 with 17 Ks over 16.2 innings.
The D-backs are leading off tonight with Gregor Blanco at the top of the order, playing left field as David Peralta gets some rest. He’s followed in the order by A.J. Pollock, Jake Lamb, Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez.
Heading into Sunday’s game against the Cubs, Lamb had been struggling and was hitless in his previous three games. On Sunday Lamb went 3-for-4, including a double. He’s also had some success in his career against McHugh, batting .333 with one home run. You don’t have to stretch too far in any one direction to see him having a great night at the plate tonight. The biggest challenge will be for Pollock, Goldy and Martinez to string together some hits against the righty McHugh.
Following Martinez in the order is Daniel Descalso, switch-hitting Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis behind the dish.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 14, 2017