It's Game Day! Literally Game DAY! 12:05pm is first pitch on MLB Network, with Zack Greinke facing off against Charlie Morton.
This will be the third time the Astros have faced Former Astros Great Charlie F. Morton:
March 29: 5IP, 3H/2ER, 8K:2BB in a 4-2 Rays win in Game 2 of the season.
August 27: 4IP, 7H/6ER, 4K:2BB in a 15-1 Astros win. His 26 Game Score here was his worst of the season. Correa was not in the lineup.
The Astros are 51.7-48.3 favorites today by FanGraphs. Since the Trade Deadline, the Astros are 27-6 in games started by Verlander, Cole, and Greinke.
*McTaggart: The Astros know the opportunity they have with a sweep today. Hinch:
The biggest value is guys get a day off, too. We would love to be done and close the series out. There's no reason for us to want to play any more games other than the ones we have to. If you can escape a series without using JV and Cole [more than once], that would be outstanding, setting up the next series.
*Under A.J. Hinch, the Astros are 4-4 in games where they can win a series. The losses: 2015 ALDS Games 4 & 5, 2017 ALDS Game 3, 2017 WS Game 6.
*Most wins in a season, franchise history, postseason included:
1. 112 - 2017
2. 109 - 2019
3. 107 - 2018
4. 103 - 1998
5. 98 - 1999, 1986
*Game 1 of the ALCS will be Saturday.
*You can read the transcript of Zack Greinke's media session from Sunday afternoon. If you decide to interpret his comments as "dismissive" or "difficult" then you can go piss right off. We have talked before about Zack Greinke and anxiety, and this is just who he is because it's what he deals with on a daily basis. He's not weak, he's not fragile. His brain works a little differently. It's not his fault. I'm sure - on some level - he wishes he could be Alex Bregman in front of the cameras (who doesn't wish they could be Alex Bregman...anywhere) but that's just not him. It's not a personality flaw, it's not a symbol of a broken person. His brain is different. And if you make light of it, then you should be ashamed of yourself.
*Anthony Castrovince: How dominant is the Astros' starting trio? Hinch:
I think it's hard for us, while we're in it, to put ourselves in a historical context or kind of compare eras. Like, we're in the middle of something really special here in Houston with the players that we have. I think we're going to look back and have even a greater appreciation for how unique a group of guys this is.
*Yahoo's Tim Brown broke down Gerrit Cole's historic ALDS performance.
*ESPN's Jeff Passan: The overpowering art of Gerrit Cole.
*Jose Urquidy and Wade Miley are both available out of the pen as the Astros try to end this series today.
*Kyle Tucker will not start, but Hinch was pleased with his effort in Game 2.
*Yuli Gurriel: Scoop Machine. If Yuli doesn't get some Gold Glove love at 1B this year, then what are we even doing. Hinch:
He's got incredible hands, but he works on it every day. He has that as part of his routine. He started that back a couple years ago and he does it every day. Repetition helps. Hand-eye coordination helps. He never panics. He has soft hands.
*FanGraphs' Meg Rowley: The Astros remind the Rays and us of their, and our, mortality.
*Atlanta beat St. Louis to take a 2-1 series lead in the NLDS. It's their first series lead since 2002.
*Around the Odds of advancing to the LCS:
*Buster Olney: How the Yankees' "monsters in the box" could own October. [Eyes roll completely out of head]
*The Ringer: Daryl Morey spoke out for a just cause - and now his job is in jeopardy.
*When My Louisiana School And Its Football Team Finally Desegregated.
*How much money do parking lots actually make?
*Deadspin: A philosopher's definitive case against Replay Review.
*California Sunday Magazine: The People Behind The Memes They Can't Escape.
*Rolling Stone: Ten Essential Ginger Baker Tracks.
*A Musical Selection: