TRADE ALERT

Astros make huge splash trading for Zack Greinke

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

The Astros have made a trade for Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros get Greinke while sending prospects Seth Beer, Josh Rojas, Corbin Martin, and J.B. Bukauskas to the Diamondbacks in return. The Astros get a third ace to their rotation and do so without giving up the coveted prospects of Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley.


Greinke is 10-4 in 2019 with a 2.87 ERA and 128 strikeouts. While his strikeout numbers don't come close to those of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, he is still a reliable arm that can go deep into games and get outs. He also sits second in the league in WHIP, currently at 0.94 which is second to only Houston's own Verlander.

Greinke has a great resume; he is a seven-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, and 2009 Cy Young winner in the National League. He currently sits 31st on the all-time strikeout leaderboard with 2,563 in his career. Zack also has plenty of experience in the postseason, starting in eleven games over five playoffs dating back to 2011. He has not, however, had great success in those starts, posting a 3-4 record and 4.03 ERA accumulatively.

His best start in the postseason came in 2014 with the Dodgers when he went seven shutout innings against the Cardinals in an NLDS win. This season, his best start was arguably the July 5th game at home against the Rockies where he went seven innings without allowing a run while striking out nine.

Greinke is far from a rental, he will be under team control through the end of the 2021 season, marrying him with the Astros for the same amount of time as Justin Verlander, should they keep him through his current contract.

The acquisition of Greinke is a strong move for Houston, who is vying to not only improve their chances to win in 2019 but in the coming years.

*Update:

The Astros also acquired Blue Jays pitchers Joe Biagini and Aaron Sanchez in exchange for Derek Fisher. Earlier Wednesday, Houston traded OF Tony Kemp to the Cubs for catcher Martin Maldonado.

Houston will look to even the series in Game 2

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: ALCS Game 2 Preview

Elsa/Getty Images

Houston's performance in Game 1 of the ALCS was a night to forget. The Yankees dominated on both sides of the ball en route to a 7-0 victory, which halted any momentum that Houston had built by winning their way into the series with their big Game 5 win in the ALDS.

However, the ALCS is a seven-game series, which means that overcoming a 1-0 deficit is something that a team of Houston's caliber should be able to do. What the Astros have in their favor is that they had arguably their worst starter of the first three games take the mound in Game 1, and in Game 2, they will have Justin Verlander. Here is a quick preview of Game 2 that will take place Sunday night:

Game Facts

When: Sunday, 7:08 p.m Central.

Where: Minute Maid Park - Houston, Texas.

TV: FS1.

Streaming: Fox Sports App.

Pitching matchup: Justin Verlander vs. James Paxton

Series: Yankees lead 1-0.

Series schedule

Date & Time (Central)LocationPitching matchup
Game 1Yankees 7, Astros 0Minute Maid Park, Houston TXGreinke (L) vs Tanaka (W)
Game 2Sunday 10/13, 7:08 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXVerlander vs Paxton
Game 3Tuesday 10/15, 3:08 PMYankee Stadium, Bronx NYCole vs Severino
Game 4Wednesday 10/16, 7:08 PMYankee Stadium, Bronx NYTBD vs TBD
Game 5*Thursday 10/17, 7:08 PMYankee Stadium, Bronx NYTBD vs TBD
Game 6*Saturday 10/19, 3:08 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXTBD vs TBD
Game 7*Sunday 10/20, 6:38 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXTBD vs TBD

* If necessary
+ Projected Starters

Game Storylines

Houston needs a big day from Verlander

With the Yankees' bats overpowering Houston pitching in Game 1, the Astros will look to Justin Verlander to try and hold the potent lineup in check to keep them from putting the game out of reach as they did on Saturday against Zack Greinke and Ryan Pressly. Verlander will rise to the moment well, like he always does, and could be just what the Astros need to hold New York at bay.

The intriguing storyline to see will be how Verlander can manage his pitch count. Greinke was able to do great in this area on Saturday, finishing six innings with a pitch count that, if needed, could have allowed him to go deeper. With Verlander working for more strikeouts than contact, it would be a significant benefit to the Astros if he can go deep into Game 2.

Astros need offense to build on

Houston's bats went nearly silent in Game 1. They cannot allow that to happen again on Sunday. While coming out and putting up a huge first inning would bode well for them, the Astros would also do well to get some offense to build on in the early goings of the game to capture some momentum that they can use to get the crowd behind them to shake the Yankees off their game.

I would expect one, or several, of Houston's key bats to have a huge game to even this series up before it shifts to the Bronx for three games. As was seen in Game 1, it's unlikely that the Yankees will go down without getting a few big hits that usually result in runs. The Astros need to put up as many runs as possible to keep the Yankees out of reach.

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

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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