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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 18 (All times Eastern)

Houston Astros (40-56) at Chicago White Sox (45-51), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Scott Feldman (4-6, 4.33) Chicago - Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.24)

(SportsNetwork.com) - It's a long second half for team on the outside looking in.

But it's not as if the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox are without high- end players as they get their post All-Star break schedules started on Friday night with game one of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

Both teams enter the series in fourth place in their respective divisions and far out of contention for American League playoff positions, but the Astros have the league's hit leader in infielder Jose Altuve and the White Sox boast a premier slugger in home run hitter Jose Abreu.

Both took part in Tuesday's All-Star Game in Minnesota.

Abreu has 29 home runs and was red-hot heading into the break while hitting in 26 of 27 games overall and his last eight in a row. Meanwhile, Altuve leads the AL with 130 hits, is third in the majors with a .335 batting average and leads the AL with 41 steals.

He is the first player in big league history to reach 130 and 40 before the All-Star Game, and he's hitting .381 in his last 25 games.

Altuve was 5-for-15 while the Astros took two of three games from Chicago in May.

"We've had spurts where we play well, we've had spurts where we didn't," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You wish you were in a better spot but you come back and try to clean that stuff up."

Chicago starts lefty Jose Quintana, who's 2-0 with a 1.51 earned run average in his last five starts, but has won just once in seven starts this season on home turf.

Quintana is 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts against Houston, all of which Chicago won.

Astros starter Scott Feldman is 5-1 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 career meetings with the White Sox and defeated them twice in three starts in 2013 while pitching for two teams.

Additionally, Chicago has won just six of 18 games against teams from the AL West.

07/18 10:41:06 ET