The Texas tango takes place tonight at Minute Maid Park with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET in Houston when Rangers’ Nick Martinez (1-3, 4.88 ERA) opposes Astros’ Brad Peacock (3-1, 3.15).
The Astros rank in the Top-5 of MLB in strikeouts versus right-handed pitching. Houston has struck out only 346 times while drawing 151 bases on balls versus righties this season.
Texas starter Nick Martinez will be pitching to contact at Minute Maid for however long he lasts tonight. The situation doesn’t offer the Rangers starter an efficient game in the realm of pitch count and offers the Astros a strong chance to put this game away early on. Martinez draws the start after allowing one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief versus Houston on June 4.
Martinez, succeeds and fails on his hard contact percentage (24%) and chase ratio (35%), but tonight’s matchup isn’t favorable for him versus one of the top offenses in all of baseball. Martinez has enjoyed his far below league average BABIP and an 83 percent strand rate this season and is overdue for some negative regression.
Houston starter Brad Peacock takes the mound on three days’ rest, due to the injury to Lance McCullers Jr., who was placed on the disabled list with lower back discomfort. Peacock went three innings in his last start walking four with just one strikeout which was easily his poorest performance of the 2017 campaign. Peacock through four starts has a 3.15 ERA (3.40 xFIP) and has seen his strikeout rate (38%) climb due to an improved slider which is earning a 21% SwStr in combination with opponents hitting a mere .128 off of the pitch. Peacock recorded season highs in both strikeouts (nine) and innings (six) on June 4 in a 7-2 victory over the Rangers.
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