Astros play Orioles, aim to build on Cole’s strong outing
Baltimore Orioles (19-44, fifth in the AL East) vs. Houston Astros (44-21, first in the AL West)
Houston; Saturday, 4 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Orioles: Andrew Cashner (6-2, 5.04 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 48 strikeouts) Astros: Framber Valdez (2-2, 3.12 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 21 strikeouts)
LINE: Orioles favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 9 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Houston heads into the matchup after a strong showing by Gerrit Cole. Cole pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits with 14 strikeouts against Baltimore.
The Astros are 23-8 in home games. The Houston offense has compiled a .269 batting average as a team this season, good for second in the majors. Michael Brantley leads the team with a mark of .322.
The Orioles are 11-21 on the road. Baltimore is slugging .402 as a unit. Trey Mancini leads the team with a slugging percentage of .549. The Astros won the last meeting 4-3. Cionel Perez earned his first victory and Josh Reddick went 2-for-5 with a home run and an RBI for Houston. Branden Kline registered his third loss for Baltimore.
TOP PERFORMERS: Alex Bregman leads the Astros with 28 extra base hits and is slugging .555. Brantley has 12 hits and is batting .000 over the last 10 games for Houston.
Mancini leads the Orioles with 31 extra base hits and is slugging .549. Pedro Severino is 6-for-18 with a double, three home runs and six RBIs over the last 10 games for Baltimore.
LAST 10 GAMES: Astros: 8-2, .238 batting average, 4.00 ERA, outscored opponents by six runs
Orioles: 3-7, .214 batting average, 4.63 ERA, outscored by 15 runs
Astros Injuries: Joe Smith: 10-day IL (achilles), Collin McHugh: 10-day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 10-day IL (elbow), George Springer: 10-day IL (hamstring), Aledmys Diaz: 10-day IL (hamstring), Carlos Correa: 10-day IL (rib), Jose Altuve: 10-day IL (hamstring), Max Stassi: 10-day IL (knee).
Orioles Injuries: Nate Karns: 60-day IL (forearm), Alex Cobb: 60-day IL (lumbar strain), DJ Stewart: 10-day IL (ankle), Dwight Smith Jr.: 7-day IL (concussion), Jonathan Villar: day-to-day (thumb), Mark Trumbo: 60-day IL (knee), Pedro Severino: day-to-day (head).