ALDS Game 2 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Mariners

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13433374a) Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game, in Houston Rays Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 30 Sep 2022

ALDS Game 2 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Mariners

Game 1 of the ALDS proved why regular season records amongst teams, and in this case division rivals, can be thrown out the window once the playoffs start. Despite Houston being heavily favored in these teams’ first matchup, Seattle still took it to Justin Verlander and the Astros, leading the entire game until the final at-bat. 

Yet, Houston pulled it out with Yordan Alvarez’s incredibly clutch walk-off homer, and just like that, the Astros seemingly have control of the series. Here’s what to look forward to in Game 2: 

Game Facts

When: Thursday, 10/13/2022, 2:37 PM Central. 

Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas.

TV/Streaming: TBS / Watch TBS App

Pitching Matchup: Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (4-2, 3.17 ERA)

Series: Houston leads 1-0.

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central)LocationPitching Matchup
Game 1Final: HOU 8, SEA 7Minute Maid Park, HoustonVerlander vs. Gilbert
Game 2Thu 10/13, 2:37 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonValdez vs. Castillo
Game 3Sat 10/15, 3:07 p.m.T-Mobile Park, SeattleMcCullers Jr. vs. Kirby
Game 4*Sun 10/16, 2:07 p.m.T-Mobile Park, SeattleVerlander vs. Gilbert
Game 5*Mon 10/17, 4:07 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonJavier vs. Ray
* If necessary.

Game Storylines

Houston can take control of the series with a win or open the door wide for Seattle with a loss

In a best-of-five, taking a 2-0 lead in the series is akin to a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven. Sure, winning three in a row in a five-game set is not quite the near-impossible feat as winning four in a row to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series, but a team like the Astros needing just one win over a three-game span will feel almost like a certainty. 

For Seattle, the Game 1 loss was undoubtedly heartbreaking. However, if they can steal Game 2 in Houston, they will still have flipped the series over to a best-of-three and will have home-field advantage in those three games, with games in Seattle on Saturday and Sunday. It’s not an elimination game, but it could certainly feel like one for the Mariners. A loss and things look grim, while a win could almost put them in the driver’s seat.  

All eyes are on Framber

As was one of my keys to Game 1, Framber Valdez must do what Justin Verlander could not on Tuesday: keep the Mariners from scoring in the top of the first. Luckily, the Astros could overcome the early deficit, but it took one of the most improbable comebacks to do it. Houston can’t afford to find themselves in another hole they must dig out of to win.

Valdez will need to be careful with how he attacks the top of Seattle’s lineup because while they may not be able to get as much lift against Houston’s mostly groundball pitcher, if they string together several hits through the gaps, it will spell trouble. The Astros already used two of their starter-quality relievers in Game 1 when they brought in Cristian Javier and Hunter Brown, so ideally, they won’t have to do the same in Game 2 with Framber going deep into the game. 

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