World Champion Houston Astros visit the White House in style

Jeremy Pena was recognized for his history-making award. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

The Houston Astros flashed some championship swagger on Monday, August 7 as they made their second trip to the White House since 2017 to celebrate a World Series title.

Our gents who normally don the orange and blue unis stepped out in some killer suits — and kicks — as they made the trip to Washington D.C. to meet President Joe Biden. All Star Alex Bregman rocked some H-Town-worthy, red and yellow Jordans (a nod to the Houston Rockets) with his suit. And speaking of suits, Justin Verlander — who just returned to the team via a deadline-edging trade — was truly on-season and on-theme with his gold/khaki custom summer number.

Super slugger Yordan Alvarez — a strapping six-foot-five and clad in steel-blue custom suit and shades — looked every part the steely Secret Service agent.

Fans have been all over the team on Instagram and Facebook as our guys arrived in D.C. and strolled into the White House like total ballers.

At the official ceremony, President Biden congratulated the team and listed their many accomplishments during their second World Series run that saw the team topple the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and Philadelphia Phillies (Biden joked that he wouldn't be able to return to Philly after noting the loss.)

He also spotlighted star shortstop Jeremy Peña for his historic title as the first rookie position player to win the World Series MVP award. Peña, for his part, sheepishly raised his hand and flashed that million-dollar smile.

President Biden then congratulated and welcomed the Astros manager with a generous, “...and this is not hyperbole — the legendary Dusty Baker,” pointing out that the legend and Major League Baseball elder statesman won his first World Series title as a manager with the Astros.

“People counted you out saying you’re past your prime—I know a little something about that,” Biden said with a chuckle. The room, full of team staff, Houston elected officials, and more, erupted in laughter.

Biden also recognized the Astros off the field for “raising awareness for things near and dear to my heart,” such as domestic violence, children battling cancer, and Winter Storm Uri.

In a poignant moment, the president turned away from the podium mic to thank team owner Jim Crane and the team personally for their unforgettable efforts after the Uvalde tragedy through the Astros Foundation, which even included a special game-day experience.

“You played ball in the park with them,” he said with a tone of reverence and gratitude, adding that such time, “validates in a way I don’t think you really understand. You’re an impressive group of men. You really are.“

Crane, afterwards, thanked the president, team, and staff “from the announcers to the guys who clean the stadium.”

“I parked cars with that guy when I was 16,” Crane noted, pointing to Astros senior manager of parking Gary Rowberry. Always gracious with fans, Crane thanked them, noting that they “pay the bills.”

Welcomed by whoops and hollers, Baker, thanked his World Series-champion team, calling them, “the greatest guys I’ve been around.” Baker spotlighted his team's “perseverance” and that what he feels is their best quality: “they genuinely love each other... and I love them all.”

Baker, before the World Series jersey presentation to President Biden, then made a promise that's music to every Astros fans who wants to watch this ceremony again next year: “We plan on repeating.”

Secret Service or World Series champ? Yordan could be both. Photo via: Astros Facebook.

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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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