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.



Houston's magic number is down to 1

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the mini-sweep of the Rangers concluding with win number 100 on the season which secured a playoff spot, the Astros turned their sights to clinching the division. With their magic number at 2, they could clinch on Friday with a win in the series opener against Los Angeles and an Oakland loss. Here is a recap of the first game of the weekend against the Angels:

Final Score: Astros 6, Angels 4.

Record: 101-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (17-5, 3.05 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jaime Barria (4-10, 6.43 ERA).

1) Starting with a bang

With a chance to clinch their division and continue to lead the battle for playoff home-field advantage, Houston came out swinging on Friday night. In the first inning, the Astros blasted three home runs with solo shots from Jose Altuve which led off the inning, and Alex Bregman as he tries to catch the sidelined Mike Trout for a possible MVP award.

Later in the inning, Carlos Correa took advantage of a runner on base with a home run of his own, a two-run bomb to extend the lead before Josh Reddick tacked on one more with an RBI-single to make it 5-0 after one.

2) Greinke struggles in the fourth but finishes five innings

Zack Greinke allowed just two hits through the first three innings: a single and a solo home run which at the time cut the lead to 5-1. Carlos Correa pushed the lead back to five runs with his second home run of the night in the bottom of the third.

Greinke would struggle in the top of the fourth, however, allowing five straight hits which would score three runs to cut Houston's lead to 6-4. He would recover and toss a 1-2-3 fifth, but that would be it for him in a five-inning start, as Houston passed the ball to their bullpen to throw the last four frames. His final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston's bullpen dominant the rest of the way

Josh James was the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen to take over for Greinke in the top of the sixth and erased a two-out walk to complete a scoreless inning. Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance in a month after having surgery on his knee, returned dominantly with a 1-2-3 inning.

Will Harris did the same in the top of the eighth, holding the two-run lead going to the ninth. Roberto Osuna had the chance for another save in the top of the ninth and converted it to finish off the 6-4 win. That reduced the magic number to one, meaning the Astros are now a win or Oakland loss away from clinching the American League West. They are also just two wins away from matching last year's franchise number of 103.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set with the Angles will be on Saturday at 6:10 PM. Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA) will get the start for Houston while Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 4.91 ERA) is expected to be on the mound for Los Angeles.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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