The playoffs begin today for the 2015 Houston Astros.
At this point in the season, you don’t need to be a math wizard to figure out the playoff scenarios for the American League. But it’s not just win and you’re in for the Astros. Yes, it’s that simple in one way, but let’s just say it gets better if the Angels win.
Or does it?
There are essentially three scenarios for Houston.
- Win against the Diamondbacks, Texas wins and Houston is the wild card. Houston would play the Yankees Tuesday, site to be determined.
- Win against the Diamondbacks, Angels win and Houston plays Texas in a one-game playoff Monday in Arlington.
- Lose against the Diamondbacks, Angels win and Houston plays Angels in a one-game winner-take all playoff Monday at Minute Maid Park.
Follow the bouncing ball. And, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that (e.g. keystone cops).
Either way, the Astros’ rotation is set quite well, based on this season’s performance. Most pitchers are available Sunday and most would be available in a playoff scenario for Monday, though it’s likely Mike Fiers would start. Dallas Keuchel would start against the Yankees on Tuesday.
So as it turns out, we’re discussing playoff rotations, lineups and rosters for the post season rather than for 2016. At least for today.
Of course you realize, don’t you, that Houston’s season won’t be over today, that the Astros could be playing “free” baseball tomorrow, right? It would technically be Game #163, but it would be extra and no one — no, don’t even go there — predicted Houston would be in this spot six months, perhaps even three months ago.
Enjoy the ride. Talk it up. Because we may never pass this way again! Not in this same scenario of a team that shouldn’t be here anyway.
Couple of quick questions:
- Would you rather just concede the division to Texas and get the playoffs started on Tuesday with the Yankees?
- Or play the Rangers in a one-game playoff, potentially getting your rotation out of whack?
- Who will be the key to Sunday and Monday games? In other words, potential heroes and goats?
- Simple question: Will the Astros be playing on Tuesday?
- Describe your emotions on this last day (maybe) of the regular season.