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Game 15 Preview. Astros @ A’s

Two young mound phenoms duel

Houston Astros v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Whether you think the future is now, or the future is later, this game is exciting.

The Future is Now: If the Astros lose this game and get swept in the series they will fall five and a half games behind the A’s in the AL West at this, the quarter mark of this short season. Picking up six games in the remaining 45 is doable, but the odds are clearly with the A’s if the Astros lose again today.

And with their four game losing streak the Astros have given hope to some of the AL West’s perennial also-rans. Currently the Astros are only a half game in front of the...ugh...Rangers, and one and a half in front of the Angels.

Has a team ever suffered such debilitating injuries to its pitching staff as the Astros this year? That’s why this game is all about the future is now. Seemingly out of nowhere, way ahead of schedule, rookie Cristian Javier, aged 23 from the Dominican Republic, has become the ace, the stopper in the new Cole-less, Verlander-less Astros rotation. In a small sample size, of course, Javier has a 1.42 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP in 12.2 innings.

And, The Future is Later: 2020 is probably the last year when the championship window remains open for the Astros, and with the zany, depressing turn of events surrounding the Astros ever since last October, even that window may be shutting tight. The surprising, un-pedigreed, rookie pitchers, Blake Taylor, Andre Scrubb, Enoli Paredes, Brandon Bielak, and especially Cristian Javier, give hope to forward looking Astros fans that the future post-Luhnow is still fresh with new possibilities.

The A’s

Being in first place their future is definitely now. And their top bats, like Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, Matt Olsen, and Marcus Semien aren’t even hitting yet. They’re winning with a young, but so far phenomenal pitching staff of their own.

Chris Bassitt has emerged from obscurity with three great starts for the A’s and a 1.08 ERA, including a win over the Astros Friday. Yesterday it was Frankie Montas, who was suspended last year for PEDs. But this year the 27 year old Dominican has a 1.57 ERA after his win over the Stros.

Today the A’s bring out 22 year-old Peruvian Jesus Luzardo. A rookie, in two games this year he has a 2.31 ERA in almost 12 innings. In twelve innings last year Luzardo had a 1.50 ERA.

Javier vs. Luzardo. The future is now. Today at 3:10 CDT.