A chance for Houston to go up 2-0

ALDS Game 2 Preview: Astros vs. A's

Astros Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Astros Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa

After facing a 3-0 deficit in Game 1, Houston's offense roared to life to double up the A's 10-5 to start the ALDS with a win. The Astros now have the opportunity to sit squarely in the driver's seat if they can take the commanding 2-0 lead in the series with a victory in Tuesday's Game 2. Here are some quick facts about the game:

Game Facts

When: Tuesday October 6th, 3:37 PM Central

Where: Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles, California


Streaming: Watch TBS App

Pitching Matchup: Framber Valdez vs. Sean Manaea.

Series: HOU leads 1-0.

Series Schedule

Date & TIme (Central)Pitching MatchupHome Team
Game 1Astros 10, A's 5Lance McCullers Jr. vs Chris BassittA's
Game 2Tue 10/6, 3:37 PMFramber Valdez vs. Sean ManaeaA's
Game 3Wed 10/7, 2:35 PMTBD vs TBDAstros
Game 4*Thu 10/8, 2:35 PMTBD vs TBD
Game 5*Fri 10/9, 2:35 PMTBD vs TBDA's

All games played at Dodger Stadium.

* If necessary

Game Storylines

Houston needs to get to Manaea and keep Oakland's bullpen on their heels

Sean Manaea had just two starts of six or more innings in the 2020 regular season: a six-inning three-run start against the Dodgers on September 23rd, and a seven-inning one-run start against the Astros on September 10th. He allowed runs in every game and went five innings or less in seven out of eleven.

Houston can grab significant control of this series if they can knock Manaea out early. Oakland had to use seven relievers in Game 1, so they will not only be hard-pressed to finish another long bullpen game, but it could weaken their bullpen to dangerous levels for games three and beyond, if necessary. It starts with George Springer, after a 4-for-5 day and RBI in Game 1, who can set the tone early with a big swing to start the game.

Take what Valdez gives you

Oakland got after Lance McCullers Jr. in a hurry in Game 1, especially the second time through the order. He allowed eight hits to Oakland over his four innings, while Houston's bullpen held the A's hitless over their five, allowing just one baserunner via a walk. Things may go differently for Framber Valdez, Houston's best pitcher of late, including getting the win in five innings of relief for Zack Greinke in ALWC Game 1. In ALDS Game 2, the Astros should take what Valdez can give them, then trust their bullpen to take it the rest of the way.

Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise

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Who's really calling the shots? Composite Getty Image.

Who is actually determining how much Jose Abreu is playing right now? Is it Joe Espada or is someone telling him from the top of the organization to play Abreu and not take him out of clutch moments?

Also, could Espada be sending a message to the front office by giving them a good look at how bad he is, and how much he's hurting the team with regular playing time?

ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham makes that case in the video above, but his radio partner Joel Blank isn't quite buying it.

Don't miss the video above for the full conversation!

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