Astros Countdown: Top Five Wild Card Hitters to Watch
The Astros are, most likely, going to make the playoffs.
With the trade deadline passed, all sights are set for October, and the playoff run for the Houston Astros. As the current No. 1 seed, the Astros would face the winner of the American League Wild Card game in the Division Series. Looking ahead, with five teams within 1.5 games of the two spots and the game on October 3rd. Here are the five hitters to watch if their particular team faces the Astros in the ALDS.
Despite currently having a .500 record and a fourth place spot seven games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles are heating up at the right time. Currently, in the middle of a three-game winning streak. The Orioles have won eight of their last ten games.
Part of the reason why the Orioles are only 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot is the play of second baseman Jonathan Schoop. This season, Schoop is hitting a career high .303 with a .906 OPS. He has matched a career high in home runs (25) and RBIs (82). He has exceeded his highest walk total by seven in 199 less at bats.
Schoop has shown his success against Astros pitching this season. In 28 at bats, the 25-year-old is hitting .429 with a .857 slugging percentage. This season, six of his 12 total hits against the Astros went for extra bases, including three that left the yard.
Three pitchers on the Astros roster have had particular trouble against Schoop this season. He has eight hits in 12 at bats, including two home runs and two doubles, off of Chris Devenski, Lance McCullers, and newcomer Francisco Liriano. Against those three pitchers, he has driven in seven of his 11 RBIs against the Astros this season.
Even if it may seem unlikely, looking at its record, but the Orioles have the offensive game to make the team a legitimate threat in the Wild Card race.