GAME PREVIEW

What to know as Astros prepare for showdown with Giants

Astros Spencer Arrighetti
Spencer Arrighetti takes the hill for Houston Monday night. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (30-36, third in the AL West) vs. San Francisco Giants (32-34, third in the NL West)

San Francisco; Monday, 9:45 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Spencer Arrighetti (3-5, 5.79 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 55 strikeouts); Giants: Kyle Harrison (4-3, 4.18 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 65 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -120, Giants +100; over/under is 8 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Astros take on the San Francisco Giants after Jose Altuve had four hits against the Angels on Sunday.

San Francisco is 17-14 in home games and 32-34 overall. The Giants have a 9-4 record in games when they hit at least two home runs.

Houston is 13-18 on the road and 30-36 overall. The Astros are 25-10 in games when they have more hits than their opponents.

The matchup Monday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

TOP PERFORMERS: Matt Chapman has eight home runs, 25 walks and 28 RBI while hitting .240 for the Giants. Heliot Ramos is 14-for-36 with a double, four home runs and 11 RBI over the past 10 games.

Yordan Alvarez has 13 home runs, 28 walks and 33 RBI while hitting .292 for the Astros. Alex Bregman is 14-for-38 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and seven RBI over the past 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Giants: 3-7, .232 batting average, 4.96 ERA, outscored by 14 runs

Astros: 6-4, .265 batting average, 3.54 ERA, outscored opponents by 14 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: Alex Bregman: day-to-day (wrist), 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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The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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