TALE OF THE TAPE

Houston Astros and Giants clash in decisive series finale

Astros Framber Valdez
Framber Valdez takes the hill for Houston. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (31-37, third in the AL West) vs. San Francisco Giants (33-35, third in the NL West)

San Francisco; Wednesday, 3:45 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Framber Valdez (5-3, 3.53 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 50 strikeouts); Giants: Logan Webb (5-5, 2.92 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 73 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Giants -117, Astros -102; over/under is 8 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros meet on Wednesday with the winner claiming the three-game series.

San Francisco has an 18-15 record in home games and a 33-35 record overall. The Giants have gone 9-4 in games when they hit two or more home runs.

Houston has a 14-19 record in road games and a 31-37 record overall. The Astros have the second-best team batting average in MLB play at .259.

Wednesday’s game is the third time these teams meet this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Matt Chapman leads San Francisco with eight home runs while slugging .400. Heliot Ramos is 15-for-39 with four home runs and 10 RBI over the past 10 games.

Alex Bregman has 12 doubles, a triple and nine home runs for the Astros. Yordan Alvarez is 15-for-39 with four doubles, a triple and four home runs over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Giants: 4-6, .225 batting average, 4.39 ERA, outscored by six runs

Astros: 6-4, .267 batting average, 3.33 ERA, outscored opponents by 16 runs

INJURIES: Giants: Blake Snell: 15-Day IL (groin), Marco Luciano: 10-Day IL (undisclosed), LaMonte Wade Jr: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Jung Hoo Lee: 60-Day IL (labrum), Tom Murphy: 60-Day IL (head), Nick Ahmed: 10-Day IL (wrist), Alex Cobb: 60-Day IL (hip), Ethan Small: 60-Day IL (oblique), Austin Warren: 60-Day IL (elbow), Tristan Beck: 60-Day IL (arm), Robbie Ray: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Kyle Tucker: 10-Day IL (shin), Jose Urquidy: 60-Day IL (forearm), Spencer Arrighetti: day-to-day (calf), Cristian Javier: 15-Day IL (forearm), Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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Will all the Texans playmakers be satisfied with their roles in the offense? Composite Getty Image.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show this weekand shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a ton of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Which got us thinking, are there enough catches to go around?

We took a deep dive into the 2023 numbers and here's what we found. CJ Stroud averaged 21 completions per game. And here's a breakdown of how many catches his receivers averaged last year.

Nico Collins 5.3 catches per game

Stefon Diggs (with Buffalo) 6.29 catches per game

Dalton Schultz 3.93 catches per game

Tank Dell 4.27 catches per game

Texans running backs 3.05 catches per game

If we add those up, the total is 22.84. Which means the Texans top receivers should expect a similar amount of production compared to last season. Of course, players like Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and Brevin Jordan will take targets away from Stefon Diggs and company from time to time.

But it's good to know that the Texans top pass catchers should produce numbers close to their 2023 averages. Which is a big deal for a player in a contract year like Diggs.

Another thing to note. We're factoring in that the Texans are expected to run out of 11 personnel most of the time. Which means Diggs, Collins, Dell, Schultz, and Mixon will be the only pass catchers on the field the majority of the time.

Are there concerns about the defense?

Both Kimes and Bien-Aime designated Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. Is he right?

Be sure to watch the video above as we react to Kimes and Bien-Aime's outlook for the Texans this year, and share our thoughts on the possible pitfalls the team will have to navigate in the short and long-term.

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