After briefly coming to life in late June and early July, Chicago has fallen upon hard times again, dropping 11 of its last 12. About the only team in baseball that has been worse is the Astros, who are an abysmal 6-35 since June 27, with three losses at Wrigley Field included in that awful stretch. The Chicago Cubs are 3-3 against Houston this season, with the home team winning every game. The Houston Astroshave the worst road record in baseball at 11-46.
The Cubs have scored fewer runs (414) than any team in baseball, and the pitching hasn’t been much better, particularly as the bullpen has worn down. Reliever James Russell gave up three runs on five hits in just one inning Saturday. A Houston offense that had shown flashes of potential early in the season has fallen flat, ranking 28th in the big leagues with 437 runs.
Astros Cubs Betting
When: 8:05 PM ET, Monday, August 13, 2012
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Houston (Houston), Comcast Sports Plus (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Armando Galarraga (0-2, 4.70 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Jeff Samardzija (7-10, 4.21)
Galarraga, best known for being robbed of a perfect game while pitching in Detroit two years ago, has pitched just 11 games in the major leagues over the last two season, joining the Houston rotation in late July. His biggest problem has been a lack of control — Galarraga has walked 13 batters in 10 1/3 innings over his last two starts, both losses. He is 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA in three career outings against the Cubs.
Samardzija has been fairly solid since a brutal stretch in June, posting five quality starts in his last seven outings and allowing one run or fewer four times during that stretch. He was a hard-luck loser in his last start, a 2-0 defeat at San Diego (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER). Samardzija is 2-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 16 career games against the Astros, losing his lone start on May 23.
1. The Astros have dropped 23 of their last 29 games against National League Central teams and are 10-45 in their last 55 road games.
2. Chicago’s Alfonso Soriano has had his way with Galarraga, going 5-for-9 with three solo home runs.
3. Current Houston hitters are just 5-for-26 (.192) against Samardzija, with J.D. Martinez (2-for-3, 3B) responsible for the only two runs batted in.