The Rangers didn’t help the Astros clinch last night, but now they control their own fate with a magic number of one.
Many Houston fans probably stayed up last night watching the Angels beat the Rangers. The Astros have not clinched the AL West yet. There were some fans that were hoping that the Rangers would beat the Angels last night, but others wanted to be able to celebrate in the stadium. The Astros are chasing their first division title since 2001.
In 2001, the Astros were then in the NL Central, finished with a 93-69 record. Their Pythagorean W-L 88-74 projection showed that they overachieved that season. It was an early exit for the Astros as they were swept by the Braves in the NLDS. The Astros also won the division during the 1997-99 seasons.
The Astros are now 90-58 with a 14 game lead in the AL West. With a magic number of one, they clinch the AL West if they win today or the Angels lose. With Justin Verlander on the mound, it will most likely give the fans going to the game a chance to celebrate. In order for the fans to be able to celebrate in the stadium, the home team must win.
Don’t wait on the Angels to lose.
While I know games can drag on, but the Stros game starts at 1:10 PM CT. Let’s say that the Stros don’t win, the Angels don’t play till 2:37 PM CT, so the team will likely have to wait around until the game is over. Will the fans be allowed to wait in the stadium until the conclusion of the Angels game?
What if the Houston loses and the Angels win? Then we do this all over again on Tuesday. This will be only the seventh time they have finished in first place in the division in their history. With so much on the line, why leave it in the hands of the Rangers to win? Verlander needs to go out there and take care of business.
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If the first two games are any indication, the Astros offense is alive and well after the struggles versus the Athletics. The hitters will face Andrew Moore, who has a 1-3 record with a 5.36 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old pitcher will face a tough offense led by MVP-leader Jose Altuve. Meanwhile, the Mariners will face the 34-year-old Verlander.
The Astros still trail the Indians by 1.5 games for the best record and home-field advantage against any American League team. There is a lot to fight for in the final weeks of the season. First things first, we need to clinch the AL West.
The Stros need to take care of business and make it rain confetti on the fans following a win today. Then join us on Talking Stros on SportsTalk 790 after the postgame show.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***