Coming off of a five-game road trip -- six games, but one in Baltimore was rained out -- against their tough AL East rivals, the Yankees are back home this week, where they will see some bad baseball teams in the coming days, starting with the Houston Astros this evening at Yankee Stadium.
The Astros are the Astros. We all know that they are not a playoff team -- although their 52 win total is already better than the 51 wins they produced last season, so at least they have that going for them. And surprisingly, they're only the third worst team in the league -- ahead of the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies.
The Astros split a four-game series with the Red Sox up in Fenway Park this past weekend weekend and have lost eight of their last 13 games overall. So with the Yankees needing every win they can get, this is definitely a good time to face Houston.
Tonight's lineup against Houston:
LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Carlos Beltran
2B Martin Prado
C Brian McCann
3B Chase Headley
RF Ichiro Suzuki
Pitching matchup preview:
Chris Capuano gets the ball for the Yankees in tonight's series opener. The left-hander is making his fifth start since joining the club in July, and he's still looking for his first win, even though he has pitched well, for the most part.
Capuano allowed four runs over six innings last time out at Baltimore, striking out seven. The big blow to him in that one was a two-run shot in the 5th inning by Adam Jones that would put the Orioles ahead in the game, as the Yankees would go on to lose.
The Astros will send left-hander Brett Oberholtzer from the opposing dugout tonight. Oberholtzer has pitched seven innings in three consecutive starts and at least six in 11 straight, as he looks to add another good outing against the Yankees.
Houston has won seven of Oberholtzer's last 10 starts, as the lefty has gone 4-2 with a 2.84 ERA in that span.
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