Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Robbie Ray (0-2, 8.64 ERA)
The Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks meet for the second time in this three-game interleague series. The Astros took care of what they had to do last night in the desert, with a 8-2 win over the D-backs. Christian Javier went 6 innings for the Astros, and he pitched well with just 4 hits and 1 earned run conceded.
It was a promising sign for the Justin Verlander-less rotation. The ‘Stros need somebody to step up in the absence of Verlander. They don’t have nearly enough to match the LA Dodgers or several other rotations with the current state of things.
That’s going to be especially true if Lance McCullers Jr. can’t get on track. It’s been a struggle for him so far in 2020. The fact that McCullers is coming off an injury makes it all the more concerning. I’d be more inclined to chalk it up as a blip on the radar if McCullers didn’t just have Tommy John surgery performed in 2018.
He missed the entire 2019 season because of his injury, so if the Astros are depending on him to snap back right into form to soften the blow of losing Verlander, then that’s not going to be a good plan for success. Maybe McCullers does get back into shape, but he’s been wild so far. The ‘Stros head into Wednesday with a record of 6-4 following their victory last night.
The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Madison Bumgarner to a big deal, but he’s struggling and the team as a whole is struggling. The pitching has been iffy, while the offense hasn’t been able to put up runs for the D-backs. Robbie Ray, who has not been doing his best work in 2020, is expected to get the starting nod on Wednesday for Arizona. We can go up and down the Diamondbacks’ roster and find players struggling, including Ray. Head below for our free Houston Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks pick for August 5, 2020.
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Houston Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Prediction:
Lance McCullers’ control has just been all over the place. He has not been commanding the hill at all. The walks are piling up for McCullers, and he has to find the strike zone tonight or it’s going to be the same. McCullers has issued 7 walks in 10 innings so far this season. He’s also yielded 6 hits for a 1.80 WHIP combined with the walks. In outings against the Mariners and Angels, McCullers posted an ERA of 5.40 this season.
He’s given up 6 earned runs in 10 innings. Sure the Diamondbacks’ offense has not been good. However, if McCullers can’t throw a strike, then they’re going to have several opportunities to score on the Astros here. In his last healthy season, McCullers notched an ERA of 3.86 and 1.17 WHIP in 2018. The current D-backs on the roster have been solid against McCullers in their careers, with a .278 batting average and .353 OBP.
The Astros have found it easy to reach base against Robbie Ray. They have a .363 OBP in 43 at-bats versus Ray, who has not been good this season either. In two starts, Ray has gotten tagged for a 8.64 ERA and 2.16 WHIP. Ray has gotten nailed for 11 hits and 8 earned runs in 8.1 innings. He just walked 6 batters against the Dodgers in his most recent performance, so between McCullers and Ray, there has been no command for either hurler. There should be ample opportunities for the final score to get into the double digits on Wednesday night in the desert.