Reds try for series sweep over Astros
Houston Astros (48-26, first in the AL West) vs. Cincinnati Reds (33-38, fourth in the AL Central)
Cincinnati; Wednesday, 12 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.67 ERA, .99 WHIP, 140 strikeouts) Reds: Tyler Mahle (2-7, 4.33 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 73 strikeouts)
LINE: Reds favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 8 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Cincinnati will sweep the series over Houston with a win.
The Reds are 18-17 in home games. The Cincinnati pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.59, Luis Castillo paces the staff with a mark of 2.36.
The Astros are 21-15 on the road. Houston has slugged .469, good for second in the majors. Alex Bregman leads the team with a .537 slugging percentage, including 30 extra-base hits and 20 home runs. The Reds won the last meeting 4-3. Anthony DeSclafani earned his fourth victory and Derek Dietrich went 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs for Cincinnati. Justin Verlander registered his third loss for Houston.
TOP PERFORMERS: Dietrich leads the Reds with 18 home runs and is batting .235. Joey Votto has 11 hits and is batting .324 over the last 10 games for Cincinnati.
Michael Brantley leads the Astros with 86 hits and is batting .315. Yordan Alvarez is 10-for-30 with a double, four home runs and nine RBIs over the last 10 games for Houston.
LAST 10 GAMES: Reds: 5-5, .224 batting average, 3.16 ERA, outscored opponents by three runs
Astros: 5-5, .228 batting average, 3.88 ERA, outscored opponents by five runs
Reds Injuries: Alex Wood: 60-day IL (back), Wandy Peralta: 10-day IL (hip), Scooter Gennett: 60-day IL (groin).
Astros Injuries: Joe Smith: 10-day IL (achilles), Collin McHugh: 10-day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-day IL (elbow), George Springer: 10-day IL (hamstring), Aledmys Diaz: 10-day IL (hamstring), Carlos Correa: 10-day IL (rib), Jose Altuve: 10-day IL (hamstring), Max Stassi: 10-day IL (knee).