Both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Houston Astros are fighting for playoff positioning. For the Diamondbacks, they are still trying to get in. As of right now, they sit 4 games behind the Colorado Rockies in the NL West and 4 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild-card spot.
For the Astros, they basically have a playoff spot secured, but at only 2.5 games up on the Oakland Athletics in the AL West, every game matters for them as well. The two will square off on Saturday in the second game of a three game series when the Diamondbacks (78-70) travel to Minute Maid Park to take on the Astros (92-55). The Diamondbacks will be sending Zack Godley (14-9, 4.67 ERA) to the mound to square off with Charlie Morton (14-3, 3.15 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
The money line for Saturday night’s game is set at the Arizona Diamondbacks +170 and the Houston Astros -180. The over/under on total runs scored stands at 8.
Diamondbacks Trying To Hold Onto Playoff Hopes
Despite winning Friday night’s game against the Astros 4 to 2, the Diamondbacks have had a miserable September thus far going 4-9. Trying to help them snap out of it, Zack Godley will take the mound for Arizona Saturday night. On the season, Godley is 14-9 with a 4.67 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and opponents are hitting .255 against him.
In 163.2 innings he has struck out 174, walked 70 and has allowed 15 home runs. His last two starts have been pretty brutal, though. In the two starts, both losses, Godley has gone a combined 9 innings, allowing 9 earned runs and striking out 11. He will look to bounce back against an Astros team that doesn’t hit as well at home as they do on the road.
Offensively, despite starting off pretty slowly, Paul Goldschmidt has put together another nice season. On the year he is hitting .298/.401/.556 with a .957 OPS. He has 33 home runs, 83 runs batted in and has scored 92 runs. Another player who is having a really nice season is David Peralta. The left fielder is hitting .295/.353/.518 with a .872 OPS. He has 27 home runs, 78 runs batted in and 71 runs scored.
Astros Have Been Unable To Put Division Away
No matter how well the Astros play, they are just having a tough time putting away the Oakland Athletics. Before Friday’s loss to the Diamondbacks, the Astros had won 10 out of 11 in the month of September. All that winning and their division lead is still just 2.5 games.
Trying to help the Astros bounce back will be Charlie Morton. This season he is 14-3 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and opponents are hitting .217 against him. In 157 innings, he has 188 strikeouts, 63 walks and has allowed 17 home runs. In his last start, a win over the Boston Red Sox, Morton went 5 innings, allowing 2 earned runs and striking out 3. Having not pitched in a full week, Morton will look to even the series on Saturday.
On the other side of the ball, Alex Bregman has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball this season. On the year, he is hitting .295/.398/.553 with a .950 OPS. He has 50 doubles, 30 home runs, 100 runs batted in, 100 runs scored and has also chipped in 10 stolen bases. Even more impressive, he has more walks (86) than strikeouts (75). If the Astros can get players like Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and George Springer to hit like they are capable of around him, the Astros will be tough to beat.
Astros Even Series
Charlie Morton will be going for a career-high 15 wins on Saturday, and pitching on extra rest, I think he will get there. For whatever reason, the Astros perform better on the road than at home, but I still think the Astros will get to Godley in this one as he has struggled to pitch well for a few starts now. It will likely be close, but take the Astros in this one at -180.