ROCKETS MAKE A MOVE

Rockets hire former GM as Director of Scouting, per sources

Rockets hire former GM as Director of Scouting, per sources
Rafael Stone will get some help with the NBA Draft approaching. Composite image by Jack Brame.
Rafael Stone has worked his way up the ladder

According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Rockets are hiring former Grizzlies and Celtics GM, Chris Wallace, to be the new Director of Scouting. Many fans have voiced concerns about current GM Rafael Stone's lack of experience as a general manager, and with so much riding on the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft, the Rockets now have someone in the building with more experience.

Stone and now Wallace have some big decisions to make with Houston's three picks in the first round of the draft. Hopefully these two can put their heads together and take the best player on the board. Many believe that the Pistons will take Cade Cunningham with the first pick, which would leave the Rockets to choose between Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, and Evan Mobley. But who knows what could happen if the Pistons take Jalen Green first, who they are rumored to be big fans of according to Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. That would leave Cade Cunningham available at No. 2 overall for the Rockets to draft, a player many believe has the most talent in the draft. Either way, Rockets fans should be excited that the organization is taking this draft seriously, and trying to be as prepared as possible for their rebuild.

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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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