POST-SEASON PREDICTIONS

Here's a sneak peek at what the Astros post-season roster could look like

Look for Jose Siri to make the roster. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With the Astros clinching the AL West division title for the fourth time in the last five seasons, it's time to try and predict what the Astros' postseason roster will look like.

It will be the first time in MLB history that the playoff roster will be 26 players deep. MLB added an extra roster spot before the 2020 season, but due to COVID, allowed 28 men on the playoff rosters a year ago.

There are four big questions when piecing together the projected playoff roster…

1. How many pitchers will the Astros carry?

With the Division Series playing a maximum of five games in seven days, teams could decide to carry less pitchers than what they would in the League Championship Series or World Series, which plays a maximum of seven games in nine days. With that said, I believe the Astros will carry 13 position players and 13 pitchers.

2. Will the Astros carry a third catcher?

This is something I was advocating for when rosters expanded in September, especially with Martin Maldonado being an offensive liability that the Astros pinch hit for late in close games. Garrett Stubbs doesn't seem to be an option for Dusty Baker or James Click though. He's had chances this season, the most recent with Jason Castro's IL stint, but currently the Astros aren't carrying a third catcher with a 28 man roster. I don't see the Astros carrying a third catcher this postseason.

3. Jose Siri or Marwin Gonzalez?

The 13th position player comes down to the exciting, speedy outfielder Jose Siri or the veteran utility man Marwin Gonzalez. With Michael Brantley's knee a concern, and the possibility he may not be ready to play the outfield soon, Baker ultimately decides that Siri is more likely to be used as a pinch runner or a defensive replacement for Yordan Alvarez.

4. Cristian Javier, Phil Maton, Blake Taylor

With two spots on the Astros ALDS pitching staff up for grabs, Javier, Maton and Taylor seem to be the last three in the conversation. Based on Baker's old school mentality of wanting to match up righties against righties and lefties against lefties late in the game, you have to figure Dusty will want as balanced a bullpen as possible. Taylor gives Baker a second lefty on the staff, which is something he will covet. Maton, who has reverse splits, has far better numbers against lefties than Javier does, and Baker has used Maton in more high leverage spots down the stretch while Javier has fallen out of favor. With Greinke and Odorizzi moving to the bullpen in the playoffs, Javier is the odd man out.

C – Martin Maldonado

C – Jason Castro

1B – Yuli Gurriel

2B – Jose Altuve

3B – Alex Bregman

SS – Carlos Correa

LF – Yordan Alvarez

CF – Chas McCormick

RF – Kyle Tucker

DH – Michael Brantley

UT – Aledmys Diaz

OF – Jake Meyers

OF – Jose Siri

SP – Lance McCullers

SP – Framber Valdez

SP – Jose Urquidy

SP – Luis Garcia

RHP – Ryan Pressly

RHP – Kendall Graveman

RHP - Ryne Stanek

RHP – Yimi Garcia

RHP – Phil Maton

RHP – Jake Odorizzi

RHP – Zack Greinke

LHP – Brooks Raley

LHP – Blake Taylor

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