First off, let me say that I really don't like Manny Ramirez. Not because he is such a good hitter and is a tough out, but because I don't like the way he plays the game.
If I was a pitcher and Manny stood at home plate after hitting a home run I would ask the umpire for a new ball and bean him as he ran around the bases. If you are going to any of the games this week bring some tomatoes to chunk at Manny. Hopefully he doesn't push the PR guy for the Dodgers down coming through Houston this time.
That being said, here is a look at your series pitching match ups:
Russ Ortiz (0-0 6.23) vs Clayton Kershaw (0-0 1.50)
Earlier this week Steve Phillips was comparing Kershaw to Sandy Koufax on Baseball Tonight which could spell trouble for our struggling offense.
Roy Oswalt (0-2 4.26) vs Randy Wolf (1-1 3.93)
This is Randy's first start back at MMP after leaving the Astros in the offseason. Maybe Houston can get Roy his first win.
Wandy Rodriguez (1-1 1.89) vs Chad Billingsley (3-0 2.84)
Wandy needs to keep up his pace and keep the struggling offense in the game. Although, you can't ask for much more from our starting staff.
Astros can win this series if: If they can keep Manny Ramirez from hurting them and somehow figure out Kershaw. Also, Jeff Keppinger will get starts in the first two games if he stays healthy. He will need to bring some production to the line up.
Astros won't win this series if: They can't score runs and their bullpen doesn't get it together. L.A. is on a roll coming in to Houston so the Astros are going to have to step it up.
My series prediction: Lance Berkman heats up and Hunter Pence takes tonight's loss personally and starts being productive in the 5 hole. Houston takes series two games to one. The one loss to Kershaw, sorry Russ.
I'm going to be at the game Friday night when Houston takes on the Brew Crew and I personally can't wait. Hopefully Houston is 7-9 come Friday.