The Astros are one of two teams to make the expanded baseball playoffs with a losing 2020 record. How is that making an impact on what's being written about their first-round playoff series with the Twins, who are hoping to end a postseason losing streak that dates back to 2004?
Here's a look at some of what's being said and written.
Who has the edge on a position-by-position basis? The interesting thing here is that some high-profile Astros are having low-profile seasons. That plays out as much as anything when comparing Houston star Jose Altuve with young Luis Arraez at second base.
Are you this person? Despite their 16-game, 16-season playoff losing streak, someone placed a $500,000 bet on the Twins to win the series. Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal has the details, as well as note about a Houston bettor and why he lost $13 million wagering on the Astros last year.
Remember Ryan Pressly, the former Twins' reliever who became an All-Star as the Houston closer last season? Well, he's not held in as high of a regard in 2020. (Does that sound familiar, Taylor Rogers fans?) On the Astros' blog Crawfish Boxes, William Metzger writes: "The question Astros fans are asking is: can 2020 Ryan Pressly shut down a playoff caliber lineup? Can the Astros advance far in the playoffs with Ryan Pressly as the closer?"
Metzger also notes that Pressly is having trouble with the curve this season. Read his thoughts here.
The Astros have four quality starters for three possible spots in the first round. The uncertainty appears to be about who should start Game 2. That's the subject of this post on the Climbing Tal's Hill blog.
Andrew Gleinser, who wrote about the Astros' rotation situation, also lists the five Houston players who have the most to prove during the playoffs. (Hint: Altuve is Houston's Miguel Sano this week.)
For a deep dive into the playoff series and much more about the Astros, check out the Astros Daily blog.