Major League Baseball
Preview
LA Angels at Houston
When: 2:10 PM ET, Sunday, September 25, 2016
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

Coming back home after a successful West Coast trip, the Houston Astros entered the weekend with plenty of reason to believe they would keep rolling in their quest to steal one of the American League's two wild-card berths. Instead, it has been the Los Angeles Angels who have played like their postseason hopes are on the line, leaving the Astros hoping they can avoid a four-game sweep Sunday against a team they have dominated this season.

Houston went 5-1 on a six-game trek through Seattle and Oakland before returning to Minute Maid Park with an eye on extending its 11-game winning streak versus Los Angeles. Following a 2-0 loss in Thursday's series opener, the Astros watched their bullpen implode on consecutive nights, blowing three-run leads after seven frames in both games by surrendering a total of seven runs in the eighth and ninth inning in Friday's 10-6 defeat and nine more over the final two frames in Saturday's 10-4 setback. Thanks to its ill-timed three-game slide, Houston has only seven games left to make up a three-game deficit on Baltimore for the final wild-card spot. The Angels have won four in a row and six of eight - all against teams either already in the postseason or fighting for a playoff berth - while improving to 9-5 over their last 14 road contests.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), ROOT (Houston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Daniel Wright (0-4, 7.48 ERA) vs. Astros RH Joe Musgrove (3-4, 4.42)

Wright was handed his second straight loss and remained winless in seven career appearances Tuesday after surrendering five runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings at Texas. The Arkansas State product, who was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati earlier this month, has given up 12 runs over 14 2/3 frames since joining the Angels. Wright, who never has faced Houston, has allowed at least three runs in each of his five career starts despite logging no more than 5 1/3 innings.

Musgrove took a no-hitter into the fifth inning Tuesday in Oakland but still did not factor in the decision after yielding one run on two hits and three walks in 5 1/3 frames. The 23-year-old has been stellar at home during his rookie season, going 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in five appearances (four starts). Musgrove is 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA over his last three turns and is holding right-handed hitters to a .231 average as he enters his first career start against the Angels.

WALK-OFFS

1. Angels DH Albert Pujols hit his 602nd career double Saturday to move past Barry Bonds for sole possession of 15th place on the all-time list.

2. Houston closer Ken Giles injured his right wrist when he was hit by a line drive during batting practice Saturday. X-rays were negative and he was diagnosed with a bruised right wrist.

3. With two more homers and three more steals, Los Angeles CF Mike Trout will become the first player in major-league history with two seasons of 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases before his 25th birthday.

PREDICTION: Astros 8, Angels 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
LA Angels 69-86 W4 35-40 34-46 13-21 17-15 30-39 9-11
Houston 81-74 L3 41-36 40-38 15-18 17-16 38-31 11-9
Last Meeting
LA Angels Houston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/24/16 LAA 10 HOU 4 .316 0 .819 .235 0 .631
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Angels A. Pujols .373 19 1.086
Houston J. Altuve .459 28 1.214
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Angels A. Pujols 3 8 11
Houston C. Correa 5 11 20
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Angels 5.14 .242 113
Houston 3.59 .295 120
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
LA Angels M. Trout .318 168 .997
Houston J. Altuve .338 207 .935
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
LA Angels A. Pujols 31 71 118
Houston E. Gattis 30 56 68
Pitching ERA Avg K
LA Angels 4.37 .260 1090
Houston 4.04 .245 1339