Houston Astros
Houston Astros center fielder Chas McCormick (20) and teammates celebrate their 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning of Game 4 of a baseball AL Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Game 3 Preview: Astros vs. Rangers

The AL West champions have their backs against the wall. The Rangers are up 2-0 on the Astros in the ALCS with a crucial Game 3 tonight.


After defeating the Astros in the first two games on their home field, the Rangers are in the driver seat with the series shifting to Globe Life Field.

The two ballclubs were about as equal as could be in the regular season, finishing with the same 90-72 record. However, because the Astros held the tiebreaker after dominating the Rangers in the regular season, they outright won the AL West. Clearly, the Rangers haven’t forgotten.

The main headline going into Game 3, besides the Astros’ season basically being on the line, is that Max Scherzer will pitch.

Scherzer has not pitched since Sept. 12 after suffering a muscle strain near his right shoulder. The eight-time all-star and three-time Cy Young winner threw 69 pitches in a live batting practice last week and is ready to go. Although it’s exciting news for Rangers fans,  it’s also possible Scherzer’s rusty after missing over a month. With such high stakes, he will be managed accordingly throughout the game.

Astros Hopeful

Houston is hoping that Scherzer’s rust plays a factor and their hitters, who have struggled, can get back on track.

While Yordan Alvarez has shined throughout the postseason, averaging a homer a game, the Astros haven’t had much other success at bat. For the Astros to regain momentum in this series, it’s key that hitters Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker to find some success at the plate. It’s possible for a pitcher who hasn’t pitched in over a month can give them just that.

Coming back from any deficiency in the playoffs, especially on the road, takes calmness and togetherness.

Astros manager Dusty Baker has been in the game for many years and understands this to a fault. Baker’s mindset is to have his team looking at tonight’s game with a positive and confident attitude, not letting the pressure of a possible 0-3 deficit play in their minds.

Game time

Game 3 is set to start Wednesday night at 8:03 EST. The Astros have found great success during the regular season at Globe Life field and wish to carry that into the playoffs. No matter how the games turns out, there are two things for sure: the crowd will be electric, and neither team’s going down without a fight.

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