Astros (12-31) at Pirates (25-18)
1;35 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
It’s dumb to call this a big game, but the Pirates are somewhat in need of a better effort today. They were lucky to escape with a victory on Friday, couldn’t get going at the plate yesterday, and are now at risk of dropping a home series to the awful Astros.
Lucas Harrell (3-4, 5.11) vs. Jeff Locke (3-1, 3.15)
Harrell’s numbers aren’t as bad as the other two Houston starters this weekend (not high praise, at all) but he’s been dreadful in his last three starts (8.79 ERA). He faced the Bucs twice last year and allowed 7 runs over 10.2 innings.
Locke has continued to be solid. More hits fell in against him in his last start but he improved on getting more strikeouts and fewer walks, which is key for him. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start in over a month.