Don't feel sorry for Wade Miley.
The left-hander is having an outstanding season for the Houston Astros, but is overshadowed by the star trio of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke. Verlander has 18 wins, Cole picked up his 17th Friday night and Greinke picked up his 16th win Saturday night.
But Miley (13-5, 3.74 ERA) will take the mound Sunday afternoon to conclude the three-game series against the Kansas City Royals and righty Jakob Junis (9-13, 5.06), and can help deliver the Astros a three-game sweep.
The Astros' magic number to win the American League West is down to six, and they sit just one game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in baseball.
Miley lost to the A's on Tuesday, ending a personal seven-game winning streak. He hasn't faced the Royals in 2019, but he's 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA in six career starts against them. His last appearance against Kansas City was in 2016 when he was a member of the Seattle Mariners.
Junis will set a career high with his 31st start Sunday. He took the loss in Tuesday's game in Chicago, surrendering five runs on six hits and three walks while striking out seven White Sox batters in five innings. He yielded a grand slam in the first and a solo home run in the second, but held the White Sox scoreless on two hits the rest of the way.
"It's a little bit of the same story each time out with Jake," Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters of Junis. "It seems like he struggles to find his slot, but then generally after the first inning, he finds it and settles in. It was really after the first hitter of the second inning, he just settled in.
"We were hitting the ball out of the ballpark, too. We just didn't have guys on like they had guys on. Jake did a good job of holding the fort there. He did a good job limiting the damage after that."
Junis fell 6-4 to the Astros on May 6 in Houston, allowing five runs over 5 1/3 innings, giving up a season-high three homers. He's 0-2 in three career starts against Houston and his 9.42 career ERA vs. the Astros is his highest against any team.
The Astros may be close to full strength, as the club is likely to activate shortstop Carlos Correa. Correa has been on the 10-day injured list with back discomfort since Aug. 20, but he texted manager A.J. Hinch recently saying he was ready to go.
Hinch also said Correa had been playing with Triple-A Round Rock in the playoffs until the Express were eliminated. The staff will evaluate him on Monday in Houston, and the Astros likely will activate him off the injured list on Tuesday.
"It will be borderline like a spring training schedule with in-season responsibilities," Hinch said of Correa's potential role. "He may play six innings and come out, even if it's not a blowout."
--Field Level Media