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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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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