Thursday, September 21, 2023

Thursday Morning Hot Links

The Astros pulled off a literal miracle by winning a game at Minute Maid Park. Houston is 39-39 at home, 85-68 overall. There are nine games remaining, and only three at home. If the Astros don't win the series against the Royals, they'll finish below .500 at home for the first time since 2014. 

*AL West:

1. Houston (85-68): -

2. Seattle (84-68): +0.5

3. Caddo Mills (84-68): +0.5

According to the Wonderful Sarah Langs, this is the first time since divisional play began (1969) that three teams have been within half a game of each other with less than ten games to play.

*AL Playoff Picture: Postseason Odds via FanGraphs:

1. Baltimore (95-57): 100.0%

2. Houston (85-68): 91.0%

3. Minnesota (81-72): 100.0%

4. Tampa (93-60): 100.0%

5. Toronto (85-67): 83.9%

6. Caddo Mills (84-68): 64.7%

7. Seattle (84-68): 60.3%

*AL West Division Odds:


Houston: 53.1%

Seattle: 29.5%

Caddo Mills: 17.4%

*Dana Brown, pre-game:

Fear not. The bats are here. The pitching's good enough. We're going to win the division.

*Buster Olney: The Astros will be tough to beat in October...if they get there.

*Houston has won one of their last one games. They are 4-8 at MMP in September. They went 16-17 against the AL East in 2023. 

*Houston has now won the last game of the series in five straight series. They lost the first two games in three straight, and four of their last five series. Dusty:

That's a big win. Obviously, you're going to see that team in the postseason. So that's a big win for us. But we've got another big series coming up against Kansas City and we need to take advantage of the opportunity and put up some more wins at home. 

More Dusty:

We needed this win. From now on, the mindset is 'Win every game.' We started today like this, so let's finish together here.

*It's the 46th time the Astros have been held to two or fewer runs this season. They're 4-42 in those games, now. The 2022 Astros were held to two or fewer runs in just 45 of their games last season. Miniscule. 

*Baltimore's Kyle Bradish vs Houston, career: 22.2IP, 6H/0ER, 25K:4BB. 0.00 ERA / 0.44 WHIP. I want no part of Kyle Bradish, or his pitching partner Rich Sturnip lol. 

*The Astros were 2x10 with runners in scoring position in yesterday's game - 8x35 over the three-game series. Although Mauricio Big Nuts Dubon came through with the walk-off, the first of his career (I think? B-Ref is being a little weird this morning).

*Watch Kyle Tucker lollygag this grounder

*Dusty sat Yordan for the game. There were reasons, I guess.

*The only other thing worth talking about is Cristian Javier: 5IP: 3H/1ER, 11K:2BB. It's the 6th 10+ strikeout game of his career, the most strikeouts since he made 11 Angels walk back to the dugout on May 10. It's the first time that he didn't give up a homer in an outing since July 22. Has Javier figured it out?

*Ryan Pressly deservedly got the win, throwing nine pitches - eight for strikes - and not allowing a hit or a walk. Chandler Rome wrote about how he had become too slider-happy, and he was going to be less so.

*Michael Brantley was unavailable - not even to pinch-hit - for a third straight game. 

*Oakland vs. the A's: The Inside Story of How It All Went South.

*After giving up nine goals in their first six games across all competitions, Leeds United have now taken three clean sheets in a row, yesterday a 0-0 draw at Hull City. 

*Wired: Life as a 21st century trucker.

*Texas Monthly: Dreaming of a move to Colorado? Four expats tell the good, the bad, and the ugly.

*Gregg Doyel: How a 100-year old bat connected a family.

*What to Watch, September 21:

Liverpool @ LASK Linz: 11:45am Central

Marseille @ Ajax: 2pm 

Blue Jays @ Yankees: 6:05pm

Georgia State @ Coastal Carolina: 6:30pm

Giants @ 49ers: 7:15pm

*A Musical Selection: