MINUTE MAID PARK
Monday, 8 p.m.
RH Marcus Stroman (8-4, 4.92 ERA) vs. TBA
Tuesday, 8 p.m.
RH R.A. Dickey (7-12, 4.66) vs. RH Lance McCullers (6-4, 3.18)
Wednesday, 8 p.m.
RH Marco Estrada (6-4, 3.02) vs. RH Collin McHugh (7-7, 4.75)
Thursday, 8 p.m.
LH J.A. Happ (14-3, 3.16) vs. RH Mike Fiers (7-4, 4.42)
All games on Sportsnet and Sportsnet 590 The FAN
Josh Donaldson, the Blue Jays’ dynamic third baseman, has been hot all summer long and is mounting a convincing defence of his MVP award. He hit .330 in July with an AL-best .450 on-base percentage to go along with six homers and 21 RBIs. He’s hit five homers in 23 career games at Minute Maid Park, tied for the second-most among road parks he’s played in. . . . Jose Altuve, the pint-sized second baseman, is considered the main contender to Donaldson’s MVP crown, with the Angels’ Mike Trout also in the mix. Altuve leads the majors with a .358 batting average and .424 OBP. He has the second-lowest strikeout rate of any qualified hitter, while still cranking 18 homers. He also leads the AL with 25 stolen bases.
NEED TO KNOW
After a brutal start, the Astros have been one of the best teams in baseball since the beginning of June. But heading into Sunday they still trailed Texas by five games for the AL West lead and sat 1.5 games back in the wild-card race. . . . . The Astros boast one of the league’s best middle-infield combos in Altuve and sophomore shortstop Carlos Correa. . . . Former Blue Jay Colby Rasmus is chugging along as usual: he has a dozen homers, but has also struck out in nearly 30 per cent of his plate appearances. . . . Centre fielder Carlos Gomez is day-to-day with a hamstring strain, the same injury that landed Astros third baseman, and former Jays farmhand, Luis Valbuena on the disabled list Friday.
Three-game series in Kansas City starting Friday.
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