Houston (37-36) at Kansas City (38-33)
When: Saturday, June 25th 2016
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Time: 7:15 ET | TV: FOX
The Houston Astros look to continue their climb up the standings on Saturday night when they visit the Kansas City Royals in the second game of their weekend series. Houston erupted for nine runs in the first inning last night en route to a 13-4 win over the Royals. George Springer’s grand slam highlighted the huge first inning as he fell a double shy of the cycle and finished with five RBIs. Houston has won 21 of their last 29 games overall and currently a season-high six in a row. While the Astros have scored 40 runs during their winning streak, the Royals have mustered just eight during their three-game losing skid. Friday’s loss was just their second in the last 14 at home. Kansas City is expected to see the return of Alex Gordon to the starting lineup, who has been sidelined by a broken bone near his right wrist. Houston 2B Jose Altuve, who is riding a six-game hitting streak, has reached base in 27 consecutive contests – which is two shy of matching his career high. The Astros will recall prize prospect 1B A.J. Reed from Triple-A Fresno prior to Saturday’s game. Manager A.J. Finch told reporters that Reed will be the team’s DH in his debut.
Pitchers: Astros – Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.42 ERA) | Royals – Chris Young (2-6, 5.61)
Mike Fiers gets the start tonight and he has started to turn things around over his last few starts. Fiers scattered four hits and struck out five in a 6-0 win over Cincinnati on Sunday to improve to 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last four starts (24 innings). He has dropped both career regular-season outings versus Kansas City, posting a 7.36 ERA while allowing the opposition to bat .326 against him.
Chris Young is still looking for his first win as a starter in nearly two months. He spent two outings in the bullpen in late May, but has started his last three trips to the mound. Young allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven in six innings of a no-decision versus Detroit on Sunday. Young owns a 4-2 career mark versus Houston, but was hit for six runs and nine hits in his last encounter.
Houston is really mashing the ball right now and have that winning attitude that helped them make the playoffs last year. Fiers is pitching better than Young right now and I can see another slugfest. I like the over 9 in this, but I’m going to stick with Houston as my pick.
Pick: Astros -120