Who will own Texas.
The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will meet in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series (best-of-seven) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, USA, on April 16.
The matchup between Houston and Texas has already garnered a lot of attention. From the local rivalry to the hard-fought battles these two teams have had this season, the Championship Series atmosphere is heating up.
The two teams are regional rivals: they’re in the same state of Texas, and they’re both in the American League West. The rivalry has been intense this season. They finished the season with identical records of 90 wins and 72 losses. However, Houston has the edge this year, going 7-2 in their nine meetings against Texas and sitting atop the division.
While this is a highly anticipated regional rivalry, this is the first time the two teams have met in the postseason. Houston, a member of the National League since its inception, hasn’t met Texas in the postseason since 1980, when it played its first fall ball game. The same can be said for Texas, which first played fall ball in 1996, making this the first ever battle of pride.
Houston has been gaining momentum in fall baseball lately. Last season, they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series and are looking to win their second straight World Series title.
This postseason, they’ve continued that momentum. As if their dominance DNA had been transplanted, they easily swept the reeling Minnesota Twins in the Division Series, 3-1, to advance to the next round. Benefiting from a nucleus of power hitters including Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Jose Abreu, and Jordan Alvarez, the Angels pounded out 10 home runs in four games of the Division Series.
On the mound, veteran Justin Verlander was joined by Christian Javier and Jose Ulquidi. While Frazier Valdez struggled against Minnesota (five runs in 4 1/3 innings), much will be expected from Verlander, Valdez, and Javier, who combined to win the team’s World Series title last year.
Texas is no slouch either. The Astros are undefeated in the postseason, having swept the American League’s second-best overall record (99-63, .611), the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-0, in the Wild Card, and the first-best record (101-61, .623), the Baltimore Orioles, 3-0, in the Division Series.
Texas boasts a lineup just as potent as Houston’s. The explosive table-setters of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, the center fielder Adolis Garcia, and rookie Evan Carter, who is batting .429 (6-for-14) with one home run in his postseason debut just one month after joining the big league roster.메이저놀이터
The starting rotation is also steady. Aces Max Scherzer and Jon Gray have been stalwarts on the mound, even with injuries.
Nathan Eovaldi, the postseason prince who led the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title in 2018, has come alive with a 1.61 ERA in two starts and 13⅔ innings, and Jordan Montgomery, a midseason trade acquisition from the St. Louis Cardinals, has been unexpectedly effective with a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings. Add in proven starters Scherzer and Gray, and the mound could be even more energized.
The battle of the managers will also be interesting. Houston’s Dusty Baker and Texas’ Bruce Bochy, two of the greatest managers of all time, have a combined 26 years of managerial experience, with 2183 regular season wins, 2093 postseason wins, and 54 and 49 postseason wins, respectively. Both coaches are known for their savvy game management and ability to keep opponents guessing.
The two teams will face off at 9:15 am. Houston has announced Verlander as their starting pitcher, while Texas will counter with Montgomery. Which of the two teams will be the first to take game one and smile?