Astros’ Opening Day: Good time to start a winning streak
By Brian Murray
The Houston Astros begin their first home series of the season tonight with the much awaited Opening Day Game here at Minute Maid Park.
It has finally arrived! Minute Maid Park will open its doors for the first game of 2019 in front of the home crowd. It’ll be a packed house of enthusiastic fans rooting on their Astros to “Take it Back”. They have won the last six straight Home Openers and there’s no reason that can’t continue.
Opening Day doesn’t come short of its share of festivities for the fans to celebrate the occasion. At 2:30 p.m. the Street Fest opens featuring food trucks, games and live music. Game tickets are required to enter the Street Fest gates and it runs until 6:30 p.m., prior to the 7:10 p.m. game time.
Pregame ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. with the flag presentation and a human formation on the field in the shape of the number 103, commemorating the 2018 record win total. There will also be a tribute to the late President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. Neil Bush and their grandsons will be present at the ceremony and one of the grandsons, George P. Bush, will throw out the first pitch.
The first three games of the home series the Astros will be facing the Oakland A’s. Collin McHugh will get the start and is going up against Oakland starter Frankie Montas. McHugh has been successful over his career against Oakland with an 8-1 record and a 2.84 ERA. Montas hasn’t done quite as well facing the Astros, going 1-1 with an ERA of 6.75.
Five Astros batters have a batting average of .333 or higher against Montas, including Carlos Correa, Tony Kemp and Jose Altuve with averages of .750, .667, and .571 respectively.
The match-ups for the remainder of the series will be Wade Miley vs. Aaron Brooks in the second game and the final game of the series will pair Brad Peacock against Mike Fiers. The six-game home series will conclude with a three-game contest with the injury-depleted New York Yankees.
Tonight’s game looks to be a favorable match-up for the Astros. We can only hope that the post-game Friday Night Fireworks won’t be the only fireworks on the field for Houston. If there isn’t a better time to turn things around and start a nice win streak, I don’t what is.