The Arizona Diamondbacks have managed to string together two straight wins to climb back over .500. A few more in a row and they might be back in the playoff hunt. The Diamondbacks are five games behind in the National League West and six games out of the second wild-card spot but have a forgiving schedule over the next few weeks. The Houston Astros will clinch a losing season with a loss on Saturday.
The Astros are trying to sell their fans on the future with a minor-league system that collectively has had a winning season and has added numerous pieces in trade during the season. But the current product at the major-league level is still a work in progress, with Friday’s 3-1 loss dropping the team to 5-28 since the All-Star break. The Diamondbacks went through a rough patch with eight losses in 11 games but have won two straight and will play losing teams Miami and San Diego after leaving Houston.
Diamondbacks Astros Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Saturday, August 18, 2012
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSAZ (Arizona), FSH (Houston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks LH Patrick Corbin (4-4, 3.41 ERA) vs. Astros RH Jordan Lyles (2-9, 5.47)
Corbin is on a roll since moving back into the rotation on Aug. 1, going 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts. The rookie left-hander matched a season high with seven innings against Washington last Sunday, earning the win while allowing two runs on four hits and striking out seven. The seven strikeouts also matched a season high, set in his previous start.
Lyles has not won since June 26, though poor run support has plenty to do with that record. The 21-year old has allowed two earned runs over seven innings in each of his last two turns. Lyles’ big problem has been with the long ball, as the right-hander has served up at least one home run in his last nine starts and 19 in 98 2/3 total innings this season. He surrendered a pair of home runs in a loss at Arizona on July 22, getting charged with eight runs (five earned) and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
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1. Arizona LF Jason Kubel was a late scratch Friday with a stiff neck. He is day-to-day.
2. Houston 1B/3B Brett Wallace has not started since Tuesday and will likely be out again Saturday with a left-hander on the mound.
3. Arizona was just 3-44 when scoring three runs or fewer going into Thursday but have won the last two games by scores of 2-1 and 3-1.