How to decipher Astros GM's latest cryptic trade comments

The MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the Astros still have some needs to fill before they make their charge toward the postseason. Astros GM Dana Brown spoke on the team's flagship station this week and said the team's priority is now to add a starting pitcher.

Brown also said that fans shouldn't expect a “home run” trade before the deadline, but a “double” is certainly a possibility they are focusing on. So what do these terms mean as far as connecting some possible names to the team?

Well, we believe we can eliminate a few names right off the bat. Angels' Shohei Ohtani, Cubs' Marcus Stroman, Mets' Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Padres' Blake Snell should be out of contention. It's also hard this time of year knowing exactly which teams will be buyers and sellers come Aug. 1.

But what about Guardians' Shane Bieber and White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito? One could argue that their past success should count as a home run, but only Dana Brown knows for sure.

Two names we feel definitely should apply are Cardinals' Jordan Montgomery, and Tigers' Eduardo Rodriguez. Both pitchers have produced multiple seasons with at least 30 starts, but they aren't considered top targets. Montgomery's ERA has been pretty impressive, but his stuff doesn't jump off the page when it comes to advanced analytics.

Rodriguez does check some boxes for the analytics nerds, but neither Montgomery nor Rodriguez have the spin rate that the Astros are known for coveting. If spin is what the Astros crave, Padres' Seth Lugo (curveball 99th percentile spin rate) and Tigers' Michael Lorenzen (plus fastball spin rate) could appeal to the Astros. But neither pitcher has made 30 starts in one season.

If the Astros go discount shopping, they will likely have to pick between spin rate, and legit pitching pedigree and production.

Finally, is Dana Brown right to prioritize a starting pitcher over a left-handed hitter? The Astros have the second-best team ERA this year, and are 17th in OPS?

Be sure to watch the video above as we break it all down!

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The Texans host the Steelers at NRG this Sunday. Composite Getty Image.

What: Texans vs. Steelers

When: 10/1 12pm CST kickoff

Where: Houston, TX NRG Stadium

TV/Radio: KHOU-TV, KILT-Radio

Betting Lines: Steelers -2.5 (-120), O/U 42 (-110) *As of this writing

The Watt Brother Bowl takes place on Sunday. I'm calling it that because the Texans are honoring their all-time great J.J. while they're playing his younger brother and current hell raising edge rusher for the Steelers T.J. The Steelers have won four of the last five matchups vs. the Texans by an average score of 28-17. The biggest difference is that the Steelers have a second year starter at quarterback in Kenny Pickett, and the Texans have a rookie in C.J. Stroud. When you look at the two quarterbacks, both organizations have full faith in each guy. Both teams have tried to build a defense to help their young signal callers. Both are still trying to surround their franchise guys with weapons.

When the Steelers have the ball: Here's a game where Will Anderson Jr can make headway as a proven EDGE. Stacking consistent performances together and helping your team win games by making winning plays. It helps that Pickett has tiny hands. This was a knock on him during draft season last year. Hand size for a quarterback impacts grip. That can not only impact accuracy, but it could make it easier to strip the ball from him.

While he doesn't have the weapons to torch this defense, Pickett does hand the ball off to Najee Harris who's more than capable. Averaging only 67 yards rushing as a team can't be taken lightly. Denzel Perryman is expected to miss the game Sunday, so hopefully that won't help jumpstart the Steelers' run game. The Texans defense will have to key in on the run, given that they average giving up 117 a game on the ground. Those aforementioned weapons may not be scary, but the injuries to the defensive backs has hurt. Tavierre Thomas is expected to miss the game recovering from hand surgery. Jimmie Ward coming back last week showed what happens when they have a top safety back there, especially when the pass rush is turning up. Hopefully, the Texans can capitalize again this week, with safety Jalen Pitre expected to return to action.

When the Texans have the ball: Good luck stopping Tank Dell and Stroud! These guys have already established themselves as a formidable duo three games into their careers. A great way to get that connection going is to pound the rock. The Steelers are giving up over 150 yards on the ground per game so far this season. That's also a good way to keep T.J. at bay while J.J. watches. With Laremy Tunsil and Josh Jones both expected to miss the game, here are the offensive line starters: Austin Deculus, Kendrick Green, Jarrett Patterson, Shaq Mason, and George Fant.

Making the younger Watt brother slow down a bit instead of going balls to the wall after Stroud because a run could be coming will help the pass game tremendously. Stroud will have to continue to make quick decisions, but even quicker this game. I wouldn't be surprised to see his first pick of his career here, given the pressure he's most likely to be under. Especially when your offensive line starters were mostly all backups to begin this season.

Outcome: I failed to place a money line bet on the Texans last week because the game started and the live bet wasn't as profitable. I wanted to take a chance on them given their recent record against the Jags. Looking at their last five vs. the Steelers, one would say why make that bet this week? It's because I believe in Stroud more than I believe in Pickett. While T.J. Watt is a different kind of monster, Will Anderson Jr is on his way to becoming something special. Texans win/cover, and hit the over, but barely: Texans 24, Steelers 20.

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