Sam Houston Race Park selections for Saturday, March 16 (with bonus selections for Oaklawn)

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Here are my selections for Saturday. These are not meant to be in exact order, but merely the four horses I think have the best chance to win. For beginners, I suggest exacta boxes with three horses, using two of mine and one of your own. And you can always pick up a copy of Acing Racing 2016 to learn everything you need to know. (These are the picks and format that are available on the free tip sheet at SHRP). Also, it is Rebel Day at Oaklawn, and the race was split in two divisions. If you are looking for some simulcast action before Sam starts...Good luck today!


Race 8: The Rebel Division I: Improbable makes his first start of the year and is a 3-5 favorite. He will be tough, but I like No. 2 Long Range Toddy to turn in a better effort today. So will play No. 2 across the board, and box him in a few exactas with No. 9 Improbable.

Race 9: The Essex: Not a real strong opinion here but will wheel No. 6 Heavy Roller up and down with the field in exactas.

Race 10: The Rebel Division 2: Game Winner is the champ and a solid favorite, but again it is his first start of the year. If we are going to get him, it will be here. I will use No. 8 Gunmetal Gray wheeled in the exactas and trifectas with the the 2-5-6-7-10.


DANCE DOCTOR was dull in last but hooked some runners; priors put him right there

RARE POPPY just does not like to win but gets one last chance

A PLACE REMEMBERED gets back on the lawn where he has a strong record

AUDACIOUS ANGEL was a little flat in last but should bounce back

OH MY GOSH BECKY is bred to love the grass and could surprise at a big price

NIGHT STRIKE takes a step up off a very strong win and could repeat

SARABI will be hard to get around here at a short price

SHES A TEXAN looks like the best of a struggling group

DIZZY KITTEN has every right to improve in start No. 2.

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.

Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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