ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (66-53)
at HOUSTON ASTROS (73-46)
First pitch: Wednesday, 8:10 p.m. ET
Line: Arizona +135, Houston -145, Total: 9.0
The Astros will be going for their third win in four games when they host the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks had won two of their previous three games before losing 9-4 to the Astros on Tuesday. Arizona has no chance of winning the NL West at this point, but the team can still earn one of the two NL wild card spots. The Diamondbacks are actually currently in the second position, but the Cardinals are starting to close the gap on them. As for the Astros, they are currently way ahead in the AL West and really don’t have anything to worry about right now. They will, however, be happy to win a series against a good National League team, so they’ll be looking to prove what they are capable of here. The starters in this Wednesday night game are set to be RHP Taijuan Walker (6-6, 3.76 ERA, 100 K) for Arizona and RHP Charlie Morton (9-5, 3.83 ERA, 110 K) for Houston. One trend that stands out when looking at this game is the fact that the Diamondbacks are 10-2 against the money line in inter-league games this season. The Astros, however, are also an impressive 37-15 against the money line in inter-league games on the year.
The Diamondbacks can use all the wins they can get right now, but it’s not going to be easy to beat an elite Astros team on Wednesday. Arizona is sending Taijuan Walker to the mound, and he is coming off of a rather poor start. Walker allowed four earned runs in five innings of work against the Cubs on Aug. 11, and it was his first time allowing more than three earned runs in four starts. The Diamondbacks will certainly be hoping that he can allow two or fewer in at least six innings in this one, but you really never know what you’re going to get with Walker. On offense, 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.320 BA, 28 HR, 93 RBI) is the guy that is going to need to come through for his team in this game. Goldschmidt should be ready to hit in this one, as he was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Tuesday. He has now hit safely in 11 of the past 12 games, and he is really just a tough guy to keep down right now.
The Astros have not been playing their best ball as of late, but they have won two of their past three heading into this one. Houston’s bats got hot on Tuesday, as the Astros put up nine runs in their win over the Diamondbacks. They’ll be hoping for more of the same when they take the field on Wednesday, and 2B Jose Altuve (.363 BA, 18 HR, 65 RBI) and OF George Springer (.303 BA, 28 HR, 70 RBI) are two guys that will be counted on to produce here. Altuve has been the best average hitter in baseball for years now, and he is always a threat to get multiple hits in a game. Springer, meanwhile, is as explosive of a hitter as there is in the league, and he will be hoping to go yard in this one. As for the pitching, Charlie Morton will be looking to turn in a quality start in this one. That is something he has done in three of his past four outings, and he has been a lot better when pitching in Houston this season. That should give him a little extra confidence here.