Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Houston at Cleveland
When: 7:15 PM ET, Saturday, May 26, 2018
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

The Houston Astros look to continue their offensive onslaught when they visit the Cleveland Indians on Saturday for the third contest of a four-game set between two American League division leaders heading in opposite directions. The Astros have scored 19 runs in winning the first two games of the series, including 11 in the final two frames of Friday's 11-2 comeback victory.

Alex Bregman carries a nine-game hitting streak (12-for-34) into Saturday’s game while George Springer is 13-for-33 with three homers and eight RBIs over his last eight contests for Houston, which has won eight of nine to take control of the AL West. Lance McCullers Jr. will attempt to help the Astros extend their winning streak to six games when he takes the mound opposite Carlos Carrasco in a rematch of the May 20th contest won by Houston 3-1. The Indians still lead the AL Central despite losing six of 10 and wasted 6 1/3 scoreless innings from two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber on Friday to lose for the fourth time in five meetings with the Astros this year. Michael Brantley recorded a double and a single on Friday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, a stretch during which he is 22-for-61 with four homers and 15 RBIs.

TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX

PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Lance McCullers Jr. (6-2, 3.20 ERA) vs. Indians RH Carlos Carrasco (5-3, 3.65)

McCullers has registered six quality starts in his last seven trips to the mound after limiting the Indians to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings on Sunday. The 24-year-old Floridian has registered 66 strikeouts in 59 innings while limiting opponents to a .212 batting average and three homers overall. Yonder Alonso is 4-for-10 with two doubles and three walks against McCullers, who is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two career games versus Cleveland.

Carrasco lost his last two turns despite posting quality starts against Detroit and Houston, allowing six runs over 14 1/3 innings while averaging 109 pitches. The 31-year-old Venezuelan has completed at least six frames in seven of his 10 starts and owns two complete-game victories in 2018. Yuli Gurriel is 3-for-6 with a pair of doubles against Carrasco, who is 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) versus the Astros.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Indians are last in the majors in bullpen ERA (6.23) after giving up 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings on Friday.

2. Houston SS Carlos Correa has gone 60 games without an error, passing Roger Metzger (1976) for the franchise record at his position.

3. Kluber moved into third place on the team’s all-time list for strikeouts with 1,279, passing Bob Lemon and Early Wynn (1,277 each).

PREDICTION: Indians 4, Astros 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Houston 34-18 W5 16-11 18-7 4-3 8-3 17-9 5-3
Cleveland 24-25 L2 13-11 11-14 4-6 10-5 6-12 4-2
Last Meeting
Houston Cleveland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/25/18 HOU 11 CLE 2 .381 1 1.006 .270 0 .686
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston G. Springer .450 9 1.372
Cleveland E. Encarnacion .294 5 .929
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston G. Springer 2 5 5
Cleveland M. Brantley 1 3 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 2.20 .322 42
Cleveland 6.28 .212 41
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Altuve .308 65 .770
Cleveland M. Brantley .338 54 .928
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston G. Springer 11 40 34
Cleveland J. Ramirez 14 31 35
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 2.38 .260 534
Cleveland 4.13 .247 423