Every-Thing Sports

Houston sports power rankings: Where does your favorite pro team land?

Justin Verlander pitches Game 1. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Last Tuesday, Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was giving a speech at the Texans kickoff luncheon. He made a reference about the Texans being the main attraction in town. He got laughed at by the audience in attendance and roasted by Raheel Ramzanali, John Granato, and Lance Zierlein the next day on this site. Truth be told: this is a football state, but Houston is clearly an Astros town right now.

In 2017 when Hurricane Harvey hit, it came when the Astros were in the middle of a playoff run. The Texans were getting ready to defend their AFC South division title. The Rockets were coming off finishing third in the Western Conference and losing in the second round to the San Antonio Spurs in six games.

Let's be honest: Houston isn't a football town. Texas may be a football state, but Houston has an allegiance to the team that has most recently brought it a world championship. What does the pecking order of pro sports team actually look like in Houston?

#1 The Astros

Astros World Series photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

This team is poised to contend for World Series titles for the next two to five years. With the 2017 World Series title under their belt, there are many stars to come in and fill spots and keep the machine going. The farm system is cranking out gems such as Yordan Alvarez. Meanwhile, guys lie Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and George Springer are home grown talents producing at the Major League level. Their window for winning it all will last as long as the pi0peline of guys the have coming up from the minors and major league talent they retain. So far, they're the only team to bring a title to Houston since the '94-'95 NBA season.

#2 The Rockets

Russell Westbrook

The Houston Rockets are the only other pro team to reach their conference finals other than the Astros in the city of Houston in the last few years. When they traded for James Harden and made him the figurehead of everything they wanted to do, it was a huge leap of faith for the organization. After a few years of trying to find him a partner, the Rockets were mired in mediocrity. Chris Paul was too damn old to help this team get over the hump. Henceforth the move for Russell Westbrook this offeseason. Now this team is poised for title runs at least the next two to three years.

#3 The Texans

Texans Bill O'Brien Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Bringing up the caboose of pro sports teams in Houston, we round out the list with the guy who thinks they're number one because this is a football state. That's laughable and he got laughed at for saying it. This team hasn't done any significant winning and continues to make reactionary moves instead of being proactive. While bringing in Laremy Tunsil was a good move, trading Jadeveon Clowney for loose sofa change wasn't. The price paid on both trades could've been avoided had those moves been made at better times. Until they at minimum make a Super Bowl appearance, they'll continue to be little brother.



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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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