After having a ten game winning streak snapped in Oakland on Wednesday, the Houston Astros are poised to start a brand new one in Arlington this weekend.
It’s never a fun thing to be on an absolute tear, only to have that momentum halted in one game. However, for the Houston Astros, the end of one streak only means the beginning of another. With the next series taking place on Easter Weekend, the Spacemen just may have the right basket of springtime goodies awaiting them.
Why, you ask? Simple, they get to return to Arlington for the second time this month. In the past, it would have been a nail in the coffin for the Astros. Surprisingly, the Rangers were a tough matchup this first time around, piling onto a slow start by the Houston Astros.
That won’t be the case this time around as the Rangers will have a hard time continually beating up on their Texas brethren like have in baseball past. Here are a couple of reasons why the Houston Astros can take the series this Easter Weekend, and possibly, even sweep those pesky Rangers on their home turf.
1. The Ultimate Egg Hunt
As Greg Johns of MLB.com recently reported, Brad Peacock has been the unsung hero of the rotation. In his words, “a secret weapon,’ if you will. That’s refreshing news since Peacock has been coming out of the bullpen but will likely rejoin the rotation early next week. He’ll enter the series with a 3.94 ERA but with a 3.42 FIP and a 0.81 WHIP to go with 15 strikeouts.
Additionally, the first two games of the Lone Star Series over Easter Weekend will be back to the top of the rotation in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. While both are still figuring some things out, their combined average ERA of 3.38 and WHIP of 0.98 is still rather impressive and nothing to sneeze at. Collin McHugh and his pristine 1.96 ERA will likely get the ball for the third and final game on Sunday.
Couple these three starters with an exceptional bullpen that contains the likes of Ryan Pressley, Chris Devenski, and Roberto Osuna and things may be coming up spring flowers against the I-45 rivals. There may not be easter eggs, but perhaps this pitching staff will help to keep the Rangers finding some big fat goose eggs on the scoreboard.
2. Hop on Pop
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During the last homestand at Minute Maid Park, the Astros lineup went pretty heavy on the home runs. Jose Altuve was the glutton of this power attack against the likes of the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees, homering in 5 straight games. One of those games even saw the MVP tally 2 bombs in one outing. THAT’S a spicy meatball! He has a total of 7 for the year so far to go with 13 RBIs.
As previously stated, Globe Life Park used to be a kiss of death for the Houston Astros. But not since the World Championship year in 2017. The Astros have held on to the coveted “Silver Boot” for the past two seasons. And quite frankly, they can do it again this year. So long as the bats can “spring” into action this Easter Weekend, the boot is as good as theirs.
There is the old saying of “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Nevertheless, these Astros are not the same as in games 5-7 of this 2019 MLB season. Regardless of the recent wins by the Rangers, they still have championship-level opponents to face.
Let’s show them who REALLY owns this state when it comes to baseball!
The Houston Astros will take the field against the Texas (Arlington) Rangers on Friday at 7:05 pm. Verlander will take the ball for the Astros while they’ll likely face Drew Smyly for the Rangers. Saturday’s game will be at 7:05 pm and the series finale should start at 2:05 pm on Sunday.