Arizona Diamondbacks (66-53 SU, 67-52 RL, 53-59-7 O/U) vs. Houston Astros (73-46 SU, 62-57 RL, 62-49-8 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 2:10 p.m. EST
The Line: Houston -125/Arizona +115 Total: 9.5
The Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks will conclude a four-game series when they meet again at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Thursday afternoon. They played the first two games of this set in Arizona, where the home team won the opener but then got blown out on Tuesday. Despite their recent win, the Astros are still just 2-6 in their last eight contests.
Corbin cruising for D-Backs
The Diamondbacks lost for the seventh time in 10 games when they fell to Houston 9-4 on Tuesday. They remain tied with Colorado for the top National League wild card–five games clear of the Cardinals. Shortstop Ketel Marte had two hits Tuesday and has reached safely in a career-high 15 straight games. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is 6-for-16 with two homers, two doubles, four walks, four runs scored and three RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin is taking the mound for Arizona on Thursday. Corbin is a mediocre 9-11 with a 4.52 ERA so far this season. He has turned in two straight quality starts and four in his last five appearances. The 28-year-old has allowed no more than three earned runs in 11 of his last 12 outings. Corbin most recently faced the Cubs this past Saturday, when he went 6.2 innings and did not surrender a single run while striking out eight batters.
The Astros broke out of a slump in the finale of their recent road trip. They averaged 2.4 runs per game while going 1-6 to begin the trek before erupting for 13 hits in Tuesday’s 9-4 triumph, which gained them a split of the two contests in Arizona. Jose Altuve added two more hits to lift his MLB-leading average to .363, and catcher Max Stassi–brought up from the minors with Brian McCann and Evan Gattis on the disabled list–doubled in the game’s first run in the second inning and slugged his second career homer in the ninth. Eight of Houston’s 13 hits went for extra bases. Tuesday’s result leaves the Astros with a 12.5-game lead in the American League West.
Mike Fiers will oppose Corbin on Thursday. The right-hander is 7-7 with a 4.36 ERA through 23 starts in 2017. Fiers’ ERA was 3.59 as recently as July 26, but none of his last four starts has been of the quality variety. During this stretch of four outings he has allowed 19 earned runs in 20.1 innings.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are:
- 7-1 in their last eight interleague games
- 5-1 in their last six interleague games against right-handed starters
- 8-3 in their last 11 Thursday games
The Houston Astros are:
- 2-6 in their last eight overall
- 1-7 in their last eight against left-handed starters
- 1-4 in their last five against teams with winning records
Corbin has been in stellar form for the Diamondbacks of late. His ERA was 5.38 as recently is June 16 and now it stands at a much-improved 4.52 after he befuddled the Cubs last weekend. Fiers, on the other hand, has been far from on fire for Houston. Arizona is 7-1 in its last eight interleague contests, 5-1 in its last six interleague contests against right-handed starters, and 5-1 in its last six interleague contests against winning opponents. The Astros are 2-6 in their last eight overall, 1-7 in their last eight against left-handed starters, and 1-4 in their last five against winning opponents. Look for those trends to continue.