The ideal Astros lineup the rest of the way to rack up wins and run down the Rangers would be this:
2B Jose Altuve
3B Alex Bregman
LF Yordan Alvarez
RF Kyle Tucker
DH Yainer Diaz
CF Chas McCormick
1B José Abreu
SS Jeremy Peña
C Martín Maldonado
Now in a do or die playoff game, there's quite a case to be made for Yainer at catcher, or in my eyes, even more compelling at first base. If the season is on the line, you want Framber or JV on the hill. So Maldy will obviously be behind the plate. But with Abreu's continued struggles at the plate, his bat doesn't justify sticking with his dreadful defense (8th percentile outs above average, -3 defensive runs saved).
And of course, if the miraculous happens and Michael Brantley does somehow make it back healthy, he needs to find a way into the lineup. But until then, this is the Astros best lineup.
That leaves them a bench of Jake Meyers, Mauricio Dubón, Grae Kessinger and Jon Singleton.
Meyers is a great pinch runner and late game defensive sub, and should be in the lineup anytime Maldy is not.
Mauricio Dubón has had a terrible July and August at the plate, but he still brings great versatility defensively. Does that mean he should be JV's personal center fielder? Absolutely not. But he can grant spot off days, and should bat either 8th or 9th exclusisvely when he does.
Kessinger is mostly a place holder. He's hitting .200 with a .648 OPS in only 30 at-bats. He's there in case of catastrophe, but what happened Saturday can't happen again. He simply cannot start over a player the caliber of Yainer Diaz.
And who knows what they'l get with Singleton. He struggled in a brief stint with the Brewers this year, but has simply mashed ever since returning to Sugar Land. If his head is finally clear and he performs, as wild as it may be to say, maybe he's their first baseman down the stretch.
Realistically though, he gives them a lefty with pop to bring in as a pinch hitter for Maldy late in games.
It's still not a deep bench, but Singleton offers them flexibility Corey Julks didn't.