The Houston Astros are playing in their 7th consecutive ALCS and as such they know many opposing pitchers well. The Astros have had many wild series that have gone the full 7 games and the Rangers series could be no different. The Astros won the Silver Boot Series this season 9-4 and that too could be a factor in the series. More significantly the Astros lost only one game out of seven on the road at the Rangers, versus losing three of six games at home.
The Astros are no strangers to Nathan Eovaldi
The last time the Astros faced Nathan Eovaldi in the playoffs was 2021 when the Astros defeated the Red Sox 5-0. In that game, Eovaldi only managed 4.1 innings of 5 hit ball allowing one earned run and one walk. The Astros have faced him 5 times in the playoffs and two of those were relief appearances.
In 2021, they faced him 3 times and in the third start he went 5.1 innings and gave up three runs on five hits and one walk. The Astros also faced him out of the bullpen that ALCS series and they took him to the woodshed. In that short relief appearance of 0.2 innings, Eovaldi gave up four earned on two hits and two walks. Eovaldi has never beaten the Astros in a playoff series. The Astros will face him in Game 2 of the ALCS.
Houston's history with Max Scherzer is a mixed bag
Texas Rangers starter Max Scherzer has returned to the roster after being out on injury since September 13. His injury recovery timeline looked like it should be 2 months but he certainly has sped up that process. The Rangers said he was the projected Game 3 starter in Arlington if they don’t need him in relief in games 1 or 2.
The Astros know Scherzer in a few different ways. More recently, the Astros Game 1 starter Justin Verlander knows him as a teammate for most of the 2023 season and so knows what to look for and how he goes about pitching. The Astros have also faced Scherzer two times in the playoffs.
Both times the Astros faced Scherzer in the playoffs were in the 2019 World Series as he was a member of the Washington Nationals. In each of those games they faced him the Astros scored two earned runs on at least five hits over five innings.
This season the Astros faced him 2 different times and he has a combined 6.55 ERA. Over 11 combined innings Scherzer gave up 4 home runs, 10 hits, 8 runs, and walked 3 batters. If he is the Game 3 starter the Astros can be confident when they face him, they have the stats to back it up. In the end I believe the Astros will do well against these known entities, as they have tons of experience against them and have every reason as such to be confident they can defeat them.