Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Houston at Baltimore
When: 4:05 PM ET, Saturday, September 29, 2018
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland

The Houston Astros have a chance to match - or eclipse - the franchise record for wins in a season when they continue their four-game series at the Baltimore Orioles with a doubleheader on Saturday. The Astros, who open the American League Division Series versus Cleveland on Friday, notched their 101st win with a 2-1 victory on Friday night.

Josh Reddick homered and Marwin Gonzalez delivered a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning as Houston improved to a major league-best 55-23 on the road and beat the Orioles for the 12th time in the past 13 meetings. Astros right-hander Justin Verlander, the AL leader with a career-high 280 strikeouts, goes for his 17th win when he opposes Dylan Bundy, who is trying to avoid his 17th loss in Game 1 of the twin bill. Baltimore set a dubious record in defeat, becoming the sixth team since 1900 - and first since Detroit in 2003 - to lose 113 games in a season. Adam Jones, likely playing in his final series with the team, accounted for the Orioles' lone run with his second RBI double in as many games.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston), MASN (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.60 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (8-16, 5.49)

Verlander continued his strikeout binge in a no-decision versus the Los Angeles Angels last Saturday, fanning 11 and allowing one hit over six scoreless innings in a no-decision. The 35-year-old won his previous three starts, going seven innings in each while allowing four runs on 12 hits with 29 strikeouts. Verlander has been superb on the road, posting a 12-2 record and 2.28 ERA in 14 starts.

Bundy suffered his 16th loss - one more than the past two years combined - after giving up four runs over just three innings at Boston on Monday. He ended a streak of 12 straight games with a homer allowed in his previous turn versus Toronto but took the loss with five runs (two earned) allowed in 6 2/3 innings. Bundy pitched six innings of two-run ball (one earned) at Houston on April 4.

WALK-OFFS

1. Astros RH Roberto Osuna has converted all 12 save chances since joining the team.

2. Orioles 1B Chris Davis, batting .168 and mired in a 1-for-37 slump over his last 10 games, is expected to sit out the series.

3. Gonzalez has reached safely in 11 straight games.

PREDICTION: Astros 5, Orioles 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Houston 101-58 W1 46-35 55-23 17-14 25-7 46-30 13-7
Baltimore 46-113 L1 27-51 19-62 23-53 10-23 6-24 7-13
Last Meeting
Houston Baltimore
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/28/18 HOU 2 BAL 1 .167 1 .552 .188 0 .462
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Reddick .538 7 1.831
Baltimore A. Jones .375 6 1.037
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston J. Reddick 3 5 7
Baltimore A. Jones 1 1 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 1.75 .264 39
Baltimore 5.45 .232 32
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Altuve .314 166 .836
Baltimore A. Jones .281 160 .733
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston A. Bregman 31 104 103
Baltimore T. Mancini 24 68 57
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 3.12 .256 1659
Baltimore 5.23 .239 1182