Houston can complete the sweep

ALDS Game 3 Preview: A's vs. Astros

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With the 5-2 win over the A's in Game 2, the Astros remained undefeated in the 2020 MLB postseason. If Houston can improve to 5-0 with a Game 3 victory, it will mean a clean sweep of the A's in the ALDS, advancing them to their fourth-straight ALCS to face the winner of the other ALDS between the Yankees and Rays. Here's how the game shapes up:

Game Facts

When: Wednesday October 7th, 2:35 PM Central.

Where: Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles, California.

TV: TBS.

Streaming: Watch TBS App.

Pitching Matchup: Jesús Luzardo vs. Jose Urquidy.

Series: HOU leads 2-0.

Series Schedule


Date & TimePitching MatchupHome Team

Game 1Astros 10, A's 5Lance McCullers Jr. (ND) vs. Chris Bassitt (ND)A's
Game 2Astros 5, A's 2Framber Valdez (W) vs. Sean Manaea (L)A's
Game 3Wed 10/7, 2:35 PMJesús Luzardo vs. Jose Urquidy
Astros
Game 4*Thu 10/8, 2:35 PMTBD vs. TBD
Astros
Game 5*Fri 10/9, 2:35 PMTBD vs. TBDA's

All games played at Dodger Stadium.

* If necessary

Game Storylines

Keep swinging away and letting it fly

The baseball has been flying out of Dodger Stadium in a hurry so far in this ALDS, with eleven total home runs, six in Game 1 and five in Game 2. Six of those have been by the Astros, three in each game. They'll face Jesús Luzardo, who was on the mound twice against the Astros in the regular season, combining for 12.2 innings while allowing four earned runs as Oakland would win both of those games. He didn't, however, face this lineup as hot as they are right now.

Even though he hasn't had his trademark leadoff dinger to start the game, George Springer has been raking so far in this series. Springer is 6-for-9 against Oakland so far with four RBI and fresh off his two-homer day in Game 2. If he can stay hot to lead this offense, they can go toe to toe with anyone as they continue to have one of the best top-to-bottom lineups in the league.

Keep throwing strikes and trust the bullpen

In ALWC Game 2 against the Twins, Urquidy made the start and, despite allowing only one run, was given an early hook by Dusty Baker in the fifth inning at just 76 pitches. In his last four starts of the regular season, he was able to go 7.0 innings twice and 6.0 innings twice, including a six-inning, two-run, 88-pitch start against the A's on September 10th in Oakland. If he can replicate that success and pass the ball to the bullpen deep into the game, that will be ideal for Houston.

Speaking of the Astros' bullpen, they have been terrific in this series's first two games. After Lance McCullers Jr. allowed five runs (one unearned) and lasted just four innings in Game 1, four of Houston's relievers were able to avoid giving up any more earned runs in their five innings of work. Framber Valdez flipped that script in Game 2, going seven frames with two relievers finishing off the win. Unfortunately for Houston, with Enoli Paredes having pitched in both games, he will likely be unavailable for Game 3, but they still have plenty of arms available to contribute if needed.

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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The Astros have now lost five straight games and the starting pitching and bullpen have let them down over that stretch. Cristian Javier was recently demoted to help him build up his stamina so that he can pitch deeper in games as the team's 5th starter when the schedule demands a 5-man starting rotation. But in the meantime, the Astros could desperately use his help out of the bullpen, and he's likely headed for relief duty when Framber Valdez returns from injury anyway. So this begs the question, is a role as the team's fifth starter the best way to maximize Javier's abilities? Check out the video to find out.

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