The Houston Astros are playing some of their best baseball at the moment on a five-game winning streak.
Unfortunately, there will not be an Astros game on tonight as they are traveling to Boston. The Texans will be traveling to Boston as well to open the season versus the Patriots in Foxborough. This weekend series could be an ALCS preview as the Red Sox currently have the best record in baseball.
The Astros have ten fewer wins than the Red Sox with 87 at the moment. Should they face each other in the playoffs, home field advantage would fall to the Red Sox. As we saw last year, the Astros were able to win some road games in the playoffs. Putting their best foot forward this weekend will keep them ahead of the A’s and give them confidence should they meet up in the playoffs.
After a short absence, Charlie Morton is set to return to the rotation on Saturday via Hunter Atkins. This will be Morton’s first start since Tuesday, August 28th when he only lasted 4 2/3 innings. He walked four batters and allowed three runs, but he wasn’t his normal self. He was placed on the DL with shoulder discomfort, but the team said it would be a short stay.
Giving Morton a break.
Morton’s previous high games started was 29 in 2011. Last year he started 25 games, but he has already started 26 games so that he may have been gassed a little. Should he come off the DL on Saturday, he would have rested for ten days. Contrary to some people’s opinions, Morton will be in the playoff rotation. Hopefully, the rest will help him be strong for October.
Morton has a 13-3 record in 2018 with a 3.10 ERA while striking out 185 hitters in 152 innings pitched. He has already allowed a career-high 16 homers in 2018. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, or Dallas Keuchel will get the nod to be the top-three pitchers in the playoff rotation. But how many teams have a fourth starter like Morton? Hopefully, his story is not done after the 2018 season with the Astros.
Josh James took his start last Saturday getting a no-decision in five-innings allowing three runs while striking out nine. With this move, James will move to the bullpen bringing his 100 mph heat with him. He looked good as a starter, but imagine what he could do in short stints in the bullpen. This series versus the Red Sox will be an exciting series and seeing Morton on the mound again.