2. Don’t sleep on a sleeper: Athletics and Astros wrap up season series.
When: August 17th -19th and August 27th – 29th
The Bout: Astros Seasoned Pitchers vs. Young and Talented Athletics Roster
The Storyline: It’s hard to predict and project the final standings, but it seems like the Athletics are penciled in to finish last in the AL West again. I say, don’t sleep on this young Oakland team. Their roster is filled with young talent, and they have a strong farm system. This team is looking to take a step forward, and August accounts for six meetings between these two.
By this time in the season, this young group of talent has film and practice against this seasoned pitching staff and Oakland will look to get hit hits against these veterans. The Astros had a rough August last season and shouldn’t let any ground they’ve gained up to this point slip away.
1. Setting up for October: Astros vs. Angeles
When: Friday, September 21st – Sunday, September 23rd.
What: Positioning themselves in the standings.
The Storyline: The Astros and Angels meet seven times by the end of August and September. By now we should have a clear picture of the postseason, and it all comes down to seeding. Should the Astros find themselves in the hunt, a couple of series with a creeping Angeles team could make all the difference.
The ‘Stros wrap up the regular season playing seven straight on an East Coast road trip. If there is a division race with anyone in the AL West this season, the Angels seem to fit the bill. A 21 game lead last year could be smaller this season. The Astros need health, depth, and momentum to make another long postseason run. These two division series against the Angels could determine seeding and if a consecutive division crown is earned.
*** Statistics and information courtesy of Baseball-Reference***