Starting tonight at 7:10 PM CT, the Houston Astros will host the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park in the first game of a three-game series.
The Houston Astros have started their World Series defense by going 7-9 through their first 16, capped by losing two-of-three at home against the Texass Rangers.
In last night’s series finale, The Rangers dropped a nine-spot against the Astros defense. Although Framber Valdez allowed five runs, only one was earned due to a pair of infield errors. Valdez earned a quality start by striking out seven and allowing one earned run on four hits and a pair of walks. Houston’s offense was limited to only four hits and an Alex Bregman bases-loaded walk.
Toronto opened the season with a 6-4 road trip before going 4-2 at home against the Detroit Tigers and the formerly unbeaten Tampa Bay Rays, with a pair of wins against each.
In yesterday afternoon’s contest, the Blue Jays dropped their finale against the Rays by an 8-1 final count. Staff ace Alex Manoah (1-1, 6.98) allowed seven earned runs over 4 2⁄3 innings, on four walks and nine hits. Manoah will not make an appearance against Houston, except in the most dire of circumstances, and then only in the finale (still not likely). The Jays totaled six hits, with only Vlad Guerrero Jr. driving anyone in with a first-inning RBI-single.
Houston last faced off against the Jays early in the 2022 season, playing six times between April 22 and May 1. Houston only won two of the six.
In that game, dated May 1, Houston dropped to .500 for the final time in 2022 by coming up short against Toronto by a 3-2 final score. The Astros managed eight hits in the game, including three by Kyle Tucker and a pair each from Aledmys Díaz and Niko Goodrum. Framber Valdez took the loss but collected a quality start, allowing three runs over 6 1⁄3 frames on two hits and two walks.
All Time Head to Head
Houston is 36-29 against the Blue Jays all-time for a .554 winning percentage. That’s their sixth-best record against any team, all of them in the American League.
Houston Astros: 7-9, .437, 2.5 GB, 2.0 WCGB, fourth in the AL West, 11th in the AL, tied for 20th in MLB, on pace for 71-91, 95 percent chance of postseason play.
Toronto Blue Jays: 10-6, .625, 4.0 GB, WC1, tied for second in AL East, tied for second in AL, tied for fourth in MLB, on pace for 101-61, 75 percent chance of postseason play.
Average — Matt Chapman .421, Vladimir Guerrero .387, Bo Bichette .375, Mauricio Dubon .340, Kevin Kiermaier .327
OBP — Matt Chapman .484, Vladimir Guerrero .473, Kyle Tucker .441, Bo Bichette .400, Yordan Alvarez .397,
SLG — Matt Chapman .719, Bo Bichette .597, Yordan Alvarez, .577, Kyle Tucker .566, Vladimir Guerrero & Chas McCormick .500
OPS — Matt Chapman 1.203, Kyle Tucker 1.007, Bo Bichette .997, Yordan Alvarez .974, Vladimir Guerrero .973
HR — Kyle Tucker, Bo Bichette & Yordan Alvarez 4, Matt Chapman & George Springer 3
RBI — Yordan Alvarez 20, Matt Chapman 15, Kyle Tucker 13, Bo Bichette 11, Alejandro Kirk, Jeremy Peña & Chas McCormick 9
SB — Chas McCormick, Kyle Tucker & Jeremy Peña 4, George Springer & Daulton Varsho 3
BB — Kyle Tucker 14, Alex Bregman 12, Vladimir Guerrero 9, Alejandro Kirk, Daulton Varsho & Yordan Alvarez 8
IP — Framber Valdez 25.0, Hunter Brown 18.2, Cristian Javier 1
ERA — Phil Maton 0.00, Bryan Abreu 1.17, Zach Pop 1.23, Kevin Gausman 1.35, Tim Mayza 1.59
WHIP — Phil Maton 0.47, Zach Pop 0.68, Adam Cimber 0.95, Kevin Gausman 1.00, Hunter Brown 1.02
K — Framber Valdez & Kevin Gausman 25, Jose Berrios 18, Yusei Kikuchi 17 & Hunter Brown 17
Gametime & Starting Pitchers
Today: 7:10 PM CT — Kevin Gausman (1-1, 1.35) vs. Cristian Javier (1-0, 4.24)
Tuesday: 7:10 PM CT — Chris Bassitt (1-2, 7.63) vs. Jose Urquidy (1-0, 2.35)
Wednesday: 7:10 PM CT — José Berriós (1-2, 7.98) vs. Luis Garcia (0-2, 7.71)
Who’s hot (five highest WPA last series)
Hunter Brown (.210)
Yordan Alvarez (.162)
Yainer Diaz (.050)
Chas McCormick (.039)
Martin Maldonado (.033)
Who’s not (five lowest WPA last series)
Jeremy Peña (-.089)
Mauricio Dubon (-.094)
Alex Bregman (-.155)
Jose Abreu (-.215)
Luis Garcia (-.266)
Current Jays CF George Springer played in 795 games over seven years with the Astros, slashing .270/.361/.491 with 174 jacks and 458 RBI.
Jays reliever Anthony Bass pitched in 21 games for the 2014 Astros, allowing 1.444 WHIP and 6.50 FIP.
When this series is in the books, which of the seven story archetypes will be appropriate?
This poll is closed
Rags to Riches: LWW
The Quest: WWL or WLL
Overcoming the Monster: LLW
Voyage and Return: LWL
Non-Gameday Astros News
Prospect roundup: High-A lefty debuts with 10-K gem (mlb.com)
Astros’ Chas McCormick: Dealing with vision issues (cbssports.com)
Fan in jorts, holding beer runs on field during Astros-Rangers game (houstonchronicle.com)
Astros’ Framber Valdez: Falls apart late (cbssports.com)
Brown Beginning to Make Lasting Impression On Houston Astros (si.com)
Shortstop J C Hartman (89) played in 90 games for the Houston Colt .45s through their first two seasons of major league play, hitting .185 with eight RBI.
Before managing the Texas Rangers, and also before doing the same with the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres for 25 years, Bruce Bochy (68) enjoyed nine seasons of major league play, mostly as a catcher. From 1978 through 1980, he played in 132 games for the Astros, hitting .239 with four homers and 21 RBI.
Shortstop Tommy Manzella (40) appeared in 90 contests with the Astros in 2009 and 2010. He hit .224 with 21 RBI while fielding at a .973 clip.
Nivaldo Rodriguez (26) pitched in nine games for the Astros in 2020 and 2021, striking out 11 against 10 walks over 16 frames. He held opponents to a 1.813 WHIP and a 4.50 ERA.
Denny Walling (69) played outfield and third base for 18 major league seasons. For 13 of those years, he played for the Astros. From 1977 through 1988, then again in 1992, he appeared in 1072 contests. For Houston, he slashed .277/.345/.402 with 47 jacks and 345 RBI, along with 43 stolen bases.
Jed Lowrie (39) played shortstop and some third base for four teams over a 14-season major league career, including 2012 and 2015 for Houston. In 166 games, he hit .235/.323/.423 with 25 dingers and 72 RBI.