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Texas Rangers Series Preview: Houston Astros

Silver Boot Series preview with Locked On Astros

For the first round of the Silver Boot Series, I spoke with Brett, HTownWheelhouse, co-host of Locked on Astros podcast and owner/managing editor of Stros411.

What were the expectations of the team going into the season and how has that changed after the games played so far?

My expectations for this team going in were to get back to the Word Series. We have Justin Verlander back and a very stout lineup.

The only thing that may change so far is the issue of the offense. With that said slumping offenses especially in this case don’t carry on very long.

So with that said I think they are still on track to be one of the top teams to get past the ALCS.

Which Astros player(s) should be on everyone’s radar to watch?

Jeremy Pena, Luis Garcia and Rafael Montero.

Most people would say Bregman and Tucker, but I went with less obvious ones because these players will have an impact that in my eyes will be underappreciated when the season is over.

How has the organization/team changed, good or bad, since losing some players that were part of the face of the Astros, like George Springer and Carlos Correa?

The team has definatly taken a hit, and in my opinion to say otherwise I think is dishonest. I really believe it is tough for a team to lose as many key players as the Astros have in Keuchel, Morton, Springer, Correa, and a few others and sustain success.

One thing this team has done is it has remained a contender year in and year out. That is what makes this era of Astros baseball so special. They keep winning, lose a guy, replace him with an under the radar rookie, boom you have another ALCS appearance.

So in the end this team is built to move on if players choose to leave.

Based on the small sample size of games so far and their division standings currently, do you think the Rangers and Astros could have a renewed rivalry this season that’s more evenly competative rather than one-sided like it has been the past 5-6 years?

The rivalry between the clubs isn’t one of the more interesting [ones] and here is why I say this.

The clubs have rarely been good at the same time.

There has been a lot of Texas is hot, Houston is not, and the inverse, Houston is Hot, and Texas is not. (These statements are not about the weather, because we all know this entire state can crank up the heat).

I think the fans love it, it continues the Houston vs. Dallas beef amongst friends and old college roommates. It has a Silver boot attached to it, which is a bit of a nuance but if both of these clubs are competing like in 2016 it becomes a much more meaningful rivalry. To answer you’re question I think it can be a BIG one, but both clubs have to be firing on all cylinders for it to catch the attention of other big MLB rivalries.