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Projecting the Astros’ ALDS roster

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BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Myles Straw #26 of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammate Jose Altuve #27 after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles during Game Two of a doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Myles Straw #26 of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammate Jose Altuve #27 after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles during Game Two of a doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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The Astros’ postseason roster has yet to be announced, but there is no harm with a little speculation.

While all baseball fans had TWO Game 163 matchups on Monday to determine the division winners in the NL Central and NL West, the Astros don’t play another game until Friday in Houston. Quite a long delay, right?

That said, the time off does give the Astros ample time to set their postseason roster exactly how they see fit.

Infield (7)

This hypothetical postseason infield doesn’t possess much mystery. It is pretty much the same infield that the team rolled out in last year’s run to the World Series title, minus a change or two.

Altuve, Correa, and Bregman, when healthy, will man second base, shortstop, and third base. The catcher position belongs to McCann and Maldonado, although Max Stassi did an admirable job throughout the regular season. First base belongs to Gurriel with White also in the mix. It’ll be interesting to see how the Astros’ utilize White in the lineup as a first baseman or designated hitter.

Outfield (5)

Like the infield, the Astros’ outfield isn’t a surprise to most people. Springer is a lock in the lineup, when healthy. Reddick will see quite a bit of playing time, but matchups could be a factor. Marisnick’s steady improvement throughout the summer was a much needed boost to his cause. Kemp has been a spark plug for the Astros in the field and the lineup. Straw is basically this year’s Derek Fisher, who was utilized primarily as a pinch runner and backup outfielder in last year’s postseason.

Utility (2)

Gonzalez is quite versatile as he could play both the infield and outfield. That said, Gonzalez will likely receive the majority of his playing time in the outfield. Gattis is obviously the designated hitter and the emergency catcher. On games when Gattis doesn’t play as the designated hitter, White will likely take over.

Starting Rotation (4)

Justin Verlander (214 IP, 2.52 ERA, 2.78 FIP, 6.2 bWAR)

Gerrit Cole (200 1/3 IP, 2.88 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 5.3 bWAR)

Dallas Keuchel (204 2/3 IP, 3.74 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 2.6 bWAR)

Charlie Morton (167 IP, 3.13 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 3.5 bWAR)

No explanation is required. And, yes, Keuchel belongs in the postseason rotation.

Bullpen (7)

Roberto Osuna (38 IP, 2.37 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 0.8 bWAR)

Hector Rondon (59 IP, 3.20 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 0.9 bWAR)

Ryan Pressly (71 IP, 2.54 ERA, 2.47 FIP, 1.4 bWAR)

Lance McCullers (128 1/3 IP, 3.86 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 1.5 bWAR)

Tony Sipp (38 2/3 IP, 1.86 ERA, 2.41 FIP, 1.3 bWAR)

Collin McHugh  (72 1/3 IP, 1.99 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 2.0 bWAR)

Josh James (23 IP, 2.35 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 0.7 bWAR)

The Astros’ bullpen looks quite different than it did a year ago. Osuna replaces Ken Giles as the club’s closer with Rondon and Pressly filling important roles. Sipp has rebounded quite nicely in the last season of his current contract. McCullers brings another quality arm as he moved from the rotation to the bullpen following his early August injury.

Next. Astros: ALDS Starting Rotation Comparison. dark

McHugh has proven to be one of the team’s best relievers throughout the season. While he only has 23 major league innings under his belt, James could be a versatile arm. Talented pitchers like Chris Devenski, Joe Smith, Will Harris, and Brad Peacock are waiting in the wings if injuries strike.

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