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Thursday Night Baseball: Los Angeles Angels Vs. Houston Astros
Matt Shoemaker (5-7, ERA 4.55) vs. Scott Kazmir (6-5, 2.24 ERA)
Matt Shoemaker: Shoemaker has had poor results against the Astros in his career, having faced them four times (two starts). Though he has a single win, his ERA is an awful 8.76 and the Astros are the fourth highest scoring team in the Majors this season. His ERA is slightly inflated due to a very poor performance this season against the Astros, giving up 6 earned runs over 3 innings pitched, but his only successful appearance against Houston in his four games has come at home.
Scott Kazmir: The Astros made a big move to acquire Kazmir from the Athletics and he was impressive in his debut allowing only 3 hits and a walk over 7 scoreless innings. Even though Kazmir just joined the Astros, he has spent his entire career in the American League (even though he was drafted by the Mets in 2003). Kazmir has been roughed up by the Angels in his career with an ERA of 6.42 and a record of 3-5 over 8 starts. Still Kazmir is having himself a CY Young quality season in 2015 (minus the record) and should help have an excellent, albeit brief stint with the Astros.
The Final Game of an Important Series
The Astros and Angels have been battling all season long for AL West supremacy. As the season is about to enter the dog days of August, the AL West has become a two team race and a tight one at that. The two teams have been challenging each other for the division lead over the past month, and whoever the second place team is has a nice grasp on the top Wild Card spot in the AL.
The AL MVP Race
While both teams can potentially make the playoffs (one as a Wild Card), the teams finish could help dictate this seasons MVP award. Outfielder Mike Trout of the Angels and second baseman Jose Altuve of the Astros are currently both MVP candidates and the where their team finishes could be a determining factor when it comes time to vote. Even though todays baseball game utilizes many advanced statistics, where the team finishes should always be considered.
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