The Astros will look to bounce back this afternoon after being shut out in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. The Rangers knocked off Houston by a final score of 2-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Jordan Montgomery dominated the Astros vaunted lineup, keeping them off balance with a combination of sinkers, four-seamers, and his "death ball" curveball. He was able to totally neutralize Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, leading to Dusty Baker making some tweaks to today's lineup in an attempt to jump start the bats.
Houston is no stranger to digging themselves out of a series hole, as evidenced by the 2017 ALCS and World Series, 2019 ALCS, 2021 ALCS and 2022 World Series. Framber Valdez will toe the rubber for the Astros in their attempt to draw even, squaring off with Nathan Eovaldi.
Eovaldi is an elite playoff pitcher, but the Astros have some fantastic career numbers against the Rangers righty. Here is how Houston will look to bounce back.
Houston Astros lineup for ALCS Game 1 (October 15, 2023)
The most notable tweak is the shuffling of Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, and José Abreu. Tucker has been moved up to the three-hole in an attempt to get his bat going. King Tuck is off to a 2-18 start in his postseason.
Yordan Alvarez will now hit cleanup, looking to shake off last night's 0-4 showing with three strikeouts. José Abreu will now bat fifth.
Michael Brantley re-joins the Astros lineup, and will bat sixth and play left field. Brantley was off in Game 1 against Montgomery, but he will likely start every game of the series in which Texas doesn't start their lefty.
It was somewhat surprising to see Chas McCormick in the lineup in center today due to his struggles against Eovaldi (0-7 with 4 k's), but he did earn the nod over Mauricio Dubón.
The Astros hope their successful career numbers against Eovaldi will translate to a series tying victory.