Latest news gives Houston Astros a big boost with A's coming to town

He's baaack! Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros host the Oakland Athletics this weekend at Minute Maid Park, and it looks like there will be a big reason to celebrate for Astros fans.

Jose Altuve has been activated and will play for the first time this season after fracturing his thumb in the World Baseball Classic.

Brandon Bielak (0-1, 3.29 ERA, 10 SO) will be on the mound for the Astros and Altuve will make his debut against LHP Ken Waldichuk (1-2, 7.02 ERA, 36 SO).

The Astros are still waiting for Michael Brantley and Lance McCullers to play this season. After being shutdown, Michael Brantley is feeling better. He's dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired shoulder. A target date for his return has yet to be determined.

McCullers is making good progress and seeing his velocity improve, but there is still no timeline for his return.

It will be interesting to see what the Astros do with Mauricio Dubon, who has done a fantastic job in Altuve's absence. He currently leads the team in hits, runs, and doubles.

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The Houston Astros have been on a tear over this recent stretch of games, but they haven't gained any ground on the Rangers who continue to put up runs at a historic pace.

Houston's pitching is elite again this year, but the offense is just mediocre at this point in the season. The Rangers and Rays are getting things done with elite offense and pitching, which has them leading the best two divisions in baseball.

So will the Rangers and Rays fall back to the pack like the Yankees did last year, or will the Astros have to step their game up to win the AL pennant once again?

Editor's note: This video was recorded before Jacob deGrom's surgery was announced.

Plus, which team is the biggest threat to the Astros? The Rays or the Rangers?

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

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