It all comes down to this. Gerrit Cole and the Astros square off against Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow at Minute Maid Park in a do-or-die ALDS Game 5.
I don’t think many fans thought the Astros would have their backs up against the wall in this ALDS five-game series. After all, they have Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke to mow down the opposition. Well, here we are. Houston wins, they move on to the ALCS to face the Yankees. They lose, another record-breaking season all for naught.
But we really shouldn’t be that surprised. Tampa Bay won 96 games this season, they are a team to be reckoned with. The Rays are one of the few American League teams that had a winning record versus the Astros in 2019. Counting the playoffs, Tampa now holds a 5-1 record at Tropicana Field this season against Houston.
But that’s all behind them, it’s down to one game, loser goes home. The Astros are back in friendly territory. They’re playing in THE “Juice Box”, where Houston now has home-field advantage and have taken four out of five from the Rays this year.
Gerrit Cole, the 2019 strikeout king, will do his best to mimic what he did in Game 2 when the Astros defeated Tampa Bay 3-1. He dominated their lineup surrendering just one run and striking out 15 batters, a franchise postseason record previously held by Mike Scott.
The Cy Young candidate has faced the Rays twice this year in the regular season going 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA. Cole accumulated 24 Ks in 12.2 innings in those two games for a 17.1 SO/9IP and walked just one batter.
Tyler Glasnow has gone up against the Astros just twice in his entire career, the first series of the regular season and the first game of the postseason. He won the regular season game giving up one run, six hits and striking out four in five innings pitched. In the ALDS opener, he went 4.1 innings surrendering two runs, four hits and struck out five.
All of the runs the Astros have scored off of Glasnow were via the home run ball. Alex Bregman hit a solo shot in the regular-season game and Jose Altuve knocked one out in the fifth inning of Game 1 of this series with Josh Reddick on base.
If the Astros could just get their bats going, they should take this game. A team that batted .274 during the regular season is now batting .241 in this series. The combined outfield is a particular problem, going 4-for-43 in these four Division Series games.
It should be an exciting night and an electrifying crowd cheering on the Astros to take this game and move on to the ALCS. Gerrit Cole hasn’t lost a game since May 22. Let’s get off to an early start, get some run support for Cole to keep that streak going and keep the Astros postseason alive.