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Astros Daily Crawfish Boil: July 19th, 2018

Get caught up with the top headlines surrounding the baseball world

MLB: All Star Game Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Wild couple of days to unpack. The Astros were heavily featured throughout the break; they had six representatives, Alex Bregman was named All-Stars MVP, Bregman and Springer went back-to-back to ice the game, and the team added more hardware to a growing list of accolades - the ESPY’s Best Team of 2018.

Josh Hader’s All-Star break was the polar opposite of the Astros. In a bizarre twist on Tuesday night, an internet sleuth exposed a laundry list of racist and homophobic tweets Hader had apparently posted as a seventeen year-old, as Hader was in the midst of getting shelled for three runs in his first ever All-Star appearance. I usually feel for people getting ‘ousted’ for things they may or may not have meant way in the past, but these tweets are pretty absurd for someone who was nearly an adult. I don’t know how players and agents still haven’t learned to clean up their social media accounts, but now Mike Trout is the latest player to fall from grace (WARNING - NSFW).

Elsewhere in the league hot stove season is starting, as the Dodgers and Orioles announced the first blockbuster trade of the season, with Manny Machado set to join L.A. in exchange for five prospects. It will be interesting to see if this kicks off an arm-race as teams look to propel themselves for the post-season, as many teams will be looking to upgrade.

The Mariners (58-39) should be throwing their hat in the mix - if they want to make the playoffs for the first time in how ever long, they’re not going to get it done with their current run differential of -2. The Athletics (55-42) are rapidly gaining ground, and at least Oakland has a respectable run differential of 24. It will be fun to see how the AL West shakes out, and how the playoff picture morphs as we approach the deadline.

The Astros will be travelling to Anaheim to kickoff off the second-half of the season with a three-game series with the Angels on Friday, before traveling to Colorado for a two-game inter-league series with the Rockies. The Astros will be facing the Dodgers in L.A. for a three-game series starting August 3rd.

Astros News and Notes

Alex Bregman wins All-Star MVP after go-ahead homer in 10th

Astros take home 2018 ESPY for Best Team

Book Review: Astroball, The New Way to Win it All

Here’s what the Astros need at the deadline

Astros promote Bay City’s Brett Adcock to Class AA

Chron: Keuchel approaching game with new mentality

First Half Grades

Astros First Half Report Card: Offense

Astros First Half Report Card: Starting Rotation

Astros First Half Report Card: Bullpen

Around the League

BREAKING: Brad Hand traded to the Indians

MLB orders Brewers’ Josh Hader into ‘sensitivity training’

Orioles trade Manny Machado to Dodgers for five prospects

7 players most likely to be traded and where they’ll go

Rob Manfred Wants MLB Expansion, Lists Six Potential Cities

Rob Manfred says Mike Trout would be a bigger star if he marketed himself better, Trout wants to “move forward”