AL West Recap: The Astros won, and of course the Angels did too because Scioscia is actually a sorcerer. The Rangers won because the Rockies are useless, the A's won, as well. Only the Mariners lost. Despite this, the Astros playoff chances jumped from 65% to 70% on FanGraphs.
*Preston Tucker homered twice in last night's 4-2 win over the Red Sox. Tucker hit .183/.247/.328 from June 3 - July 1. But starting with the nine-game road trip on July 3 through last night? .321/.357/.604.
*Collin McHugh says the fans are the real MVP.
Honestly our fan base has been really, really supportive, really encouraging throughout the whole thing. And coming from New York, it's refreshing. It's refreshing to have fans who care about baseball and care about people, and you know, you can have both.
*McCullers will pitch tonight, then the rotation will be Feldman, Keuchel, Velasquez against Kansas City. Speaking of McCullers, Brent Strom said his breaking ball is "Kimbrel-like."
Trade Deadline Links
*Commissioner Rob Manfred is interested in pushing back the Trade Deadling, due to the extra Wild Card spot.
*The Astros are in on "every rental" player, according to Jayson Stark, checking in on Cueto, Samardzija, and Dan...this can't be right, yeah, I guess it is, Dan Haren.
*Susan Slusser says that Scott Kazmir may land in Houston.
*The Tigers won't decide if they're selling until after Sunday.
*Stark says the four likely destinations for Cole Hamels - if he's traded at all - are: Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, or Rangers.
*Jeff Luhnow used the A's as a cautionary tale to the New York Post's Joel Sherman:
We saw Oakland trade away pretty good players last year to win a division and they ended up getting eliminated in the wild-card game.
*Anthony Castrovince wants to see the Astros trade for David Price
Non-Astros link of the day
Rolling Stone: Meet the man who flies around the world for free