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 gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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