1. Yu Darvish just needs to get past the first pitch. Since the All-Star Break, Yu Darvish has allowed a slugging percentage of .852 (23 Total Bases/27 ABs) on the first pitch of at-bats, third highest among qualified starters (League Avg: .587). After the first pitch? Darvish allowed a .405 SLG (237 ABs) in the second half.
2. Scherzer is changing it up. Opponents are hitting .071 (3-for-42) against Max Scherzer on changeups since the All-Star Break, second best among starters. All three hits were singles.
3. Bird is the word? Greg Bird had an OPS of 1.153 (17 PAs) versus LHP over the last 30 days of the season, fifth best of 72 part-time hitters. His HR off of LHP Andrew Miller last night was the difference in a 1-0 duel.
4. Defensive dexterity. Jackie Bradley has made 11 non-routine plays out of 28 chances (39.3 percent) this season, 12th best in the MLB. Not to be outdone, Mookie Betts has made 17 non-routine plays out of 41 chances (41.5 percent) this season, 10th best (League Avg: 22.3 percent).
5. Astros send balls into orbit against right-handed pitchers. Houston hitters are slugging .482 (2,016 total base in 4,185 ABs) versus RHP this season, best in MLB (League Avg: .428).
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