The Houston Astros will face a tough test against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. But in order to advance, they’ll need to follow three keys to win.
The Houston Astros will open up their 2019 ALDS at home against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. While there is plenty of excitement and a feeling that the Astros will take it back, the Rays are no joke of a franchise following their wild-card win over Oakland. Here are a few keys to a series win.
Houston Astros fans, here we go again.
For the third year in a row and the fourth time in five seasons, the Houston Astros will be hosting an ALDS game. Once again, we open up at a friendly Minute Maid Park. But this time, there’s more at stake. Never in our franchise history had we ever been the number one seed overall entering the playoffs. So this is uncharted territory for us. However, knowing our team, we should ready to go by Friday.
I’m not going to lie. As excited as I am about another playoff series, I am wary about this one though. Regardless of whether it was Oakland or Tampa Bay, this ALDS is not going to be a cakewalk. Last year, we played an Indians team that really gave us some tough matchups during the regular season. While we did sweep the Indians, I thought we didn’t have that challenge that was needed for us to win last year much as we got in 2017.
With Tampa winning, they will give us a challenge. We are the number one seed overall, but this is no slam dunk for us. We’re going to face challenges and adversity through this postseason and Tampa is the perfect team to do so. They took four of seven from us this season, although an argument could be made that the first four meetings were on Opening Day weekend. A lot has happened since then.
Tampa has been a franchise that has had our number over the last few seasons. Since 2017, the Houston Astros are 6-11 against the Rays. If there’s any team that can knock us off, it’s the Rays. 107 wins is a great accomplishment, but all those wins mean for not if we lose in the postseason.
Tampa would like to play the role of N.C. State, Golden State, Philadelphia, Utah, Buffalo, San Diego, and Kansas City (Chiefs and Royals) as teams that have broken Houston hearts in past years. So basically, the Houston Astros are guaranteed to be in a fight regardless of how loud the crowd is at Minute Maid Park.
That is unless we achieve the following keys to getting the series win.