On Deck: Astros at Royals, Game 5 | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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On Deck: Astros at Royals, Game 5

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5 Sports

    On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every playoff series during the 2015 season.

    The Teams: The Astros had a monumental collapse in Monday's Game 4, as they blew a 6-2 lead in the eighth inning when a win would've meant the end of the series and a trip to the ALCS for the young Astros.

    Past 2015 Meetings: The Astros won the regular-season series between the teams 4-2 and they split the first four games of the ALDS series.

    Pitching Matchups: Wednesday — Collin McHugh (19-7, 3.89 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (4-7, 4.76).

    What's Hot: Colby Rasmus, in all his mulletted glory, is staking claim at the 2015 Mr. October title, as the wiry outfielder is hitting .500 in the Astros' five postseason games (including the AL Wild Card win) with four homers, six RBIs and seven walks. Slugging first baseman Chris Carter has just one home run in the playoffs, but he's actually getting hits besides long balls and is batting .357 for the postseason. Carlos Correa had two long balls in Monday's Game 4 meltdown. McHugh gave up two runs in six innings to earn a win in Game 1 of the ALDS.

    The versatile Ben Zobrist has been the Royals' best hitter in the postseason, as he's 6-for-16 with a walk and a double in the first four games of the series. Kendrys Morales and Salvador Perez each have two homers in their first four games. Royals' closer Wade Davis replaced the injured Greg Holland, but the back end of the pen hasn't missed a beat as he's worked three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and striking out four.

    What's Not: The Astros' bullpen, which was pretty good throughout the year, has struggled to control the Royals' lineup late in games, and that was magnified in Game 4. Pint-sized hitting machine Jose Altuve is hitting just .182 in the postseason, and that's better than the Astros' home run and RBI leader Evan Gattis, who is hitting just .150.

    Johnny Cueto allowed four runs over six innings in the Royals' Game 1 loss to Houston. Even though they were all key in the Royals' late rally in Game 4, the foursome of Alex Rios, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer are all struggling, as Gordon (.214) is the only player of the bunch hitting over .200 in the series.