Toronto Blue Jays series preview: On the road to Houston

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May 9, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Chris Carter (23) is greeted by second baseman Jose Altuve (27) after a 2 run home run in the second inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Across the Diamond

Blue Jays fans familiar with the recent seasons in Toronto may recognize the Houston offense as it relies very heavily on the home run ball.  Through the early stages of 2015 that has worked as the Astros sit 2nd in the MLB with 49 deep flies, but their 12th-place ranking in runs scored suggests that they have not been as strong with run manufacturing.  In fact, Houston sits dead last with a collective .225 average.

The Astros have an incredible eight players with four home runs or more, led by Luis Valbuena with 8.  Ex-Jay Jake Marisnick has seen some time at leadoff lately and will enter play with a .304 average.

Jose Altuve continues to be one of the league’s best all-around players for Houston, and he enters play with a .326 average, 4 home runs, 21 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases.  Chris Carter and Evan Gattis represent two raw power bats towards the heart of this Astros lineup, but with each hitting below .200, this could be a good time to pass through Houston.

Drew Hutchison should match up well against the free swinging Astros who sit 2nd in the MLB with 312 strikeouts on the season.

Next: Opener: Can Hutchison rack up the K's?