The Astros got rained out yesterday. Now they get to play 14 games in 13 days. First pitch today is at 3:40pm Central, and the second game is...sometime after that. The White Sox get to face Zack Greinke and Gerrit Cole on the same day. Houston has a 10-game lead on Oakland.
Kind of a slow news day, which is perfectly fine since I'm running behind this morning.
*The Astros are 11/4 favorites to win the World Series.
*Speaking of Greinke, today is August 13. The Astros acquired him on July 31. This will be Greinke's second start as an Astro.
*A new poll, voted on by 43 reporters at MLB.com, I guess, now has Yordan Alvarez at the top of the AL Rookie of the Year ballot. He received 40 of the 42 first-place votes. Baltimore pitcher John Means got two first place votes. Cleveland right fielder Oscar Mercado got one first place vote. I am not making any of that up.
*Keep an eye on Verlander's strikeout totals. He needs 77 to get to 3,000 career strikeouts, all with the Astros. Crazy but I looked it up. Gerrit Cole is within reach of setting the all-time K% rate in a single season.
*Start making those vacation plans, the Astros' 2020 schedule is out. I'm not a huge schedule guy, but there are some fun road trips you could make, if you were so inclined. Notable dates:
March 26, 2020: Opening Day. Angels at Minute Maid Park.
April 10-12: Houston's first trip to Mimic Maid Park in Upper Oak Cliff.
May 22-24: At Boston. Nice time of year to get up to Boston.
July 3-5: At Washington.
Inter-League is against the NL East next year. The Astros will play seven home games and ten away games in NL parks. Not a huge fan of that.
The Astros come out of the 2020 All-Star Break with a 7-game road trip (at Oakland and West Longview) and finish the season with a 7-game road trip (at New York and Atlanta).
*I like Michael Baumann, and I find it extremely impressive that he can write an article about how Lance Lynn is the "best pitcher in the American League" and only mention Verlander and Cole in passing.
*Jake Kaplan, on Gerrit Cole's incremental changes this season.
*Fun night for Round Rock. Framber Valdez struck out a career- and franchise-high 13 batters in 6.2IP as Round Rock beat Albuquerque 11-6. Kyle Tucker hit his 31st and 32nd home runs of the season. Express hitting coach Ben Rosenthal:
When he squares it up, it is loud. He's got power to all fields. He always had the power. He's just got to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it. When he does that, good things happen.
Apr: .165/.211/.388, 23K:5BB, 5HR
May: .333/.429/.741, 23K:16BB, 11HR
June: .303/.366/.646, 33K:10BB, 8HR
July: .194/.333/.347, 20K:13BB, 3HR
Aug: .366/.417/.805, 4K:4BB, 5HR
*Some Former Astros Greats news:
-Josh Rojas (Greinke trade) got called up to Arizona and went 2x4 with an RBI in his MLB debut. The Astros didn't get any hits last night wtf is LOSEnow doing?
-David Paulino (Osuna trade) cleared waivers and was released.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...
*ESPN: "Oh my God, how can we do this?" An oral history of the 1994 Strike. If you're a subscriber to The Athletic, you can read this oral history of the 1994 Strike.
*Actual Moron Alex Rodriguez had $500,000 worth of stuff [blinks rapidly] in his rental car stolen during Sunday Night's game in San Francisco.
*Simone Biles is superhuman, I think.
*The sexual assault case that shook ancient Rome.
*What Toni Morrison understood about Hate.
*I (not, like, me) tried hiding from Silicon Valley in a pile of privacy gadgets.
*A Musical Selection: