Most paramount lessons & biggest statement from Astros slobber-knocking slugfests

STONE COLD 'STROS

Most paramount lessons & biggest statement from Astros slobber-knocking slugfests
The Astros host the Braves Monday night. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros got a huge series win against the Rangers over the weekend, with two big performances from Ronel Blanco and Cristian Javier.

Jose Altuve had two more home runs on Sunday, giving him five total dingers this season. And while it has been a rough start to the season for Houston, they're currently only 2.5 games out of first place in the AL West behind the Rangers.

On the mend

Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez are expected to return to the rotation soon, and Verlander could be ready as soon as Friday against the Washington Nationals.

Astros prospect Joey Loperfido continues to mash the baseball at Triple-A, and Jose Abreu struggled again on Sunday, going 0-4. It's just a matter of time before the Astros promote him to the big leagues. Through 14 games, Loperfido is slashing .333/.429/.895/1.324 with 10 home runs. Loperfido was just recently named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week.

The offense is looking good

Overall, the Astros offense is doing its part, they're currently 3rd in team OPS this season. Pitching is the area the Astros need to get corrected. Their team ERA is second-to-last at 5.32.

Up next

The Astros will look to keep things going against the Braves on Monday with Spencer Arrighetti on the mound.

Don't miss the video above as we react to the Astros series win over the Rangers, look ahead at the upcoming series with Atlanta, and much more!

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Player safety is clearly not a concern for the NFL. Composite Getty Image.

The wait is finally over! The Houston Texans schedule has been released and we have some thoughts.

With the Texans playing on Christmas Day (Wednesday) against the Ravens, that means they'll have to play three games in 10 days. And it's not like the opponents are pushovers. They have to face three playoff teams from last year (Dolphins, Chiefs, and Ravens).

Don't miss the video above as ESPN Houston's John Granato & Lance Zierlein react to the '24 Texans schedule release, and discuss the “beast” of a second half they'll face.

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