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Open Thread: Game 20 - @ Houston Astros

Brett Tomko looked like a normal pitcher this time, and even got out of a couple of jams. Meanwhile we saw some timely hitting, and the Dodgers are playing for a .500 record tonight in Houston. Andy Pettitte started slowly this year (1.75 WHIP, 6.8 K/9), but he looked pretty good in his last start, giving up seven hits and a walk in seven innings while striking out eight against the Brewers. Fun Stat of the Day: 80% of the consonants in Pettitte's last name are "t". Meanwhile, Derek Lowe looks to continue his recent solid performance with his fourth consecutive quality start. He struggled to strike people out in his first two starts, but he has eleven K's in thrteen innings in his last two starts. A strong year for Lowe will be important to the team's chances of winning the division.

Speaking of winning the division, a very good indicator of a team's future win/loss record is a team's runs scored/runs allowed ratio (this is the number of runs scored per run allowed). Here is the NL West through yesterday:

1.116 Dodgers
1.043 Diamondbacks
1.042 Rockies
0.865 Padres
0.860 Giants

Here are the winning percentages so far:

.556 Giants
.556 Rockies
.474 Dodgers
.444 Padres
.421 Diamondbacks

What does it mean? Well, the good luck that the Giants have enjoyed is in the bank. Mean reversion doesn't mean that they'll suffer bad luck to make up for it. It just means that the lucky streak will likely end. If the runs scored/runs allowed ratio is indicative of their true ability, their record will suffer. This is, of course, all based on a mere handful of games against disparate opponents, so it's not especially meaningful. It's a developing situation. I expect to see the Padres get better and the Rockies to get worse, for example. I would feel bad for the Diamondbacks if they hadn't beaten us by one run on Saturday. Also, its worth noting that the two teams atop the runs scored/runs allowed list (L.A. and Arizona) are also the two teams with the most talent at the tripla-A level. This bodes well for them later in the season. Plus the Dodgers should be adding Gagne and Izturis as well. On to today's game...

The Pitching Matchup:

Derek Lowe (RHP, Dodgers) vs. Andy Pettitte (LHP, Astros)

For your Los Angeles Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Lofton, CF
Drew, RF
Kent, 2B
Garciaparra, 1B
Mueller, 3B
Cruz, LF
Navarro, C
Lowe, P

For the Houston Astros:

Biggio, 2B
Tavares, CF
Berkman, 1B
Ensberg, 3B
Wilson, LF
Lane, RF
Ausmus, C
Everett, SS
Pettitte, P