"It seems like the last couple of years, they've always missed my spot in the rotation coming through here," Happ said. "There's going to be a nice crowd here, and I'll have a lot of friends and relatives here. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
Happ has dominated in his past two starts, winning both while allowing just three runs on eight hits in 13 innings, for a 2.08 ERA. He's also been a part of a Houston rotation that has a 2.30 ERA in its past 11 games.
Against the Indians this past Sunday, the left-hander surrendered just one run on four hits in seven innings.
Matt Garza will be on the hill for Chicago, trying for his sixth quality start in June.
Garza pitched well enough in his most recent start to win, allowing just three runs on five hits in seven frames, but was outdueled by D-backs left-hander Wade Miley and took the loss in a 5-1 defeat.
The outing continued a tough stretch for Garza, who is just 1-5 in his past seven games.
"A lot of it's on my shoulders," Garza said. "My job is to hold the lead when I get it, and if I don't have a lead, keep them where they're at until we get it. That's my job, and that's what I try to do."
Astros: Lowrie selected as player representative
Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie was recently selected by his teammates to be Houston's player representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association this season. Jason Castro, Justin Maxwell and Happ were voted as alternate reps.
Lowrie understands how much responsibility comes with the job, especially with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"I think there's probably going to be many guys asking about it, so I'm going to do my best to answer any questions that I can, and if I can't, I'll refer them to the right people," Lowrie said.
Cubs: Dempster won't return before break
Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster played catch Friday and could throw off the mound Saturday or Sunday, but he still won't return until after the All-Star break.
Dempster, on the disabled list since June 16 with a sore right lat, said on Friday that he's feeling better.
"It won't take me long once I get going," Dempster said. "I haven't said [I'm returning on] 'this date' because if I feel good, it could be sooner than that. I'm completely pain free. I just don't know how I'm going to feel throwing."
With the Astros scheduled to start left-handers Saturday and Sunday against the Cubs, Anthony Rizzo will be in the Cubs' lineup both days, while Bryan LaHair may get a rare start against a southpaw.
"[Rizzo] is our third hitter, and I don't see me changing that in the future," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday.
The Cubs have won five consecutive series-opening games at Wrigley Field, dating back to May 28 against San Diego.
After going without a home run in his first 30 games of the season, Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano has hit 15 home runs in his past 41 games.
Happ is 11-16 with a 5.04 ERA in 37 career games against the National League Central.