Houston Astros watching best-case ALCS scenario come together

Oct 15, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks with first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) at the end of the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners during game three of the ALDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks with first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) at the end of the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners during game three of the ALDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Out of the four MLB teams that earned a bye in the postseason, the Houston Astros are the only one that have played the time off to their advantage.

Of course, two of the four (the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves) are already out of the postseason after being knocked off by Wild Card round winners. The third (the New York Yankees) is looking to survive against the Cleveland Guardians in a fifth and deciding game on Monday night in the Bronx.

With ALCS approaching, Houston Astros rested and ready for rest of postseason

While plenty of drama has engulfed the other three teams that worked hard in the regular season to get that postseason bye, the Houston Astros have done exactly what they were supposed to do … win and move on.

Sure, the ALDS against the Seattle Mariners wasn’t easy, but Houston made the plays when needed, and critical home runs from Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Peña were keys to Houston sweeping the Mariners out of the postseason and earning some time to rest and reset the rotation.

After going through the bullpen in the 18-inning win in Seattle on Saturday, Houston now has the luxury to align its rotation exactly how it wants for Game 1 of the ALCS inside Minute Maid Park on Wednesday night. Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez, the pitchers who started the first two games of the ALDS against the Mariners, will likely line up to start the first two games of the ALCS. With the schedule, they could also be in play for Games 5 and 6 of the seven-get set (if needed). That’s a huge plus for an Astros team that is just waiting to see which travel-weary opponent they will see in the Lone Star State.

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Playing in its sixth consecutive ALCS and being rested with home-field advantage throughout the World Series, the stars (that are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas) seem to be aligning for the Astros to build upon the success they’ve had throughout the 2022 regular season and postseason.