The Astros were off yesterday. There is one more off day (Monday) during the regular season, which ends in ten days. Houston is 100-53. Prayers up for those of you affected by Imelda.
*The Yankees beat the Angels to clinch their first division title since 2012. Can't relate. The A's and Dodgers were off, so..
Houston (100-53): -
New York (100-54): -0.5
Los Angeles (98-55): -2.0
Houston plays Anaheim starting tonight, meaning that Anaheim could get to watch their two opponents this week clinch their respective divisions against them in back-to-back series.
*Milestones to look for over the next ten days:
-Jose Altuve's next home run will be his 30th, giving the Astros four batters with 30+ home runs.
-Alex Bregman's next walk will give him 111 and taking sole possession of 6th place on the franchise single-season walk total.
-Justin Verlander is 17 strikeouts away from 300, 11 strikeouts away from 3,000, and eight strikeouts away from a season-high.
-Justin Verlander is after a Major-League record, as well. Among SPs who threw 180+ IP, Justin Verlander's 0.79 WHIP ranks third all-time, a tick behind Walter Johnson's 0.78 in 1913, and 1999 Pedro Martinez's 0.74.
-Gerrit Cole is trying to maintain his place at the top of the all-time MLB leaderboard in K/9 (among SPs with more than 180IP), at 13.57, which is better than 2000 Randy Johnson's 13.41 and 1999 Pedro's 13.20. He's also 12 strikeouts away from setting the Astros' single-season strikeout mark.
-The Astros have struck out 1104 times, lowest in MLB, and have struck out 1570 batters, highest in MLB. They're trying to become the first team in MLB history to lead the majors in both categories.
In the other MLB races, the Indians and Rays are tied for the 2nd AL Wild Card spot while the Cubs and Brewers are a game apart for the 2nd NL Wild Card spot.
*Jake Kaplan: The Astros' three most important storylines of the next ten days.
*FanGraphs has your 2019 AL Cy Young Voting Guide.
*Chandler Rome has a mailbag in which he discusses Alex Bregman's MVP chances, a George Springer extension, Aaron Sanchez's shoulder surgery, Francis Martes, and who should start Game 1.
*Richard Justice ranks the 12 best trade deadline deals.
*Hunter Atkins: How Abraham Toro made it from Venezuela to Canada to Oklahoma to Houston.
Related: MLB Pipeline has ranked Abraham Toro and Cristian Javier as the Astros' prospects of the year.
*The Yankees have put starter Domingo German on administrative leave for a minimum of seven days due to domestic violence allegations. Jeff Passan:
Manager Aaron Boone recently said he expected German to be a big part of the team's postseason plans, but Boone said Thursday the team needs to prepare for the postseason like German won't be available.
German is 18-4 this season with a 4.03 ERA / 1.15 WHIP, 153K:39BB in 143IP. The Athletic's Lindsey Adler: What we know so far about German's suspension.
*Kerry Crowley: Inside the Green Monster with Bruce Bochy, one of baseball's biggest fans.
*Dusting off my dude Adam Sternbergh's column, in honor of Friends' 25th anniversary: Is Friends still the most popular show on TV?
*I Believe I Can Fry: How a mild-mannered database analyst became the undisputed king of the fair park fryers.
*A Musical Selection from Trevor, who turned me on to this song. By now you should have an idea of the type of music I like, so feel free to send recommendations my way. Thanks, Trevor.