After Rangers take a 2-0 lead, the ALCS heads to Arlington for Game 3 on Wednesday

Alex Campbell
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Brett Coomer/Texas Sports Nation

MINUTE MAID PARK, HOUSTON - The reigning champion Houston Astros have fallen into an 0-2 hole against the Texas Rangers in the ALCS after a 5-4 Rangers win in Game 2 on Monday afternoon.  The Rangers were red hot right out of the gates in game 2, scoring all five runs in the first 3 innings against Framber Valdez.  Valdez was a key cog in the Astros world series run last season, with a postseason ERA under 2.  But in two postseason starts this year, that number has ballooned to over 11 – including 3 miserable innings last night.  Texas got out to a 5-1 lead and hung on as the Astros mounted a comeback effort that fell one run short.

The series will resume on Wednesday night at 8:03p EST from Arlington’s Globe Life Park.   There are 5 games remaining in the series, 3 in Arlington and then 2 more in Houston if needed.  The Astros need to win 4 out of those five games to avoid elimination.  There’s no doubt it’s an uphill battle, especially considering that they had home field advantage coming into the series and quickly lost it.  Road teams taking a 2-0 lead in the LCS in MLB history have gone a blazing 13-1, and that one series came in the COVID year of 2020, at a neutral site where the Dodgers came back to beat the Braves in seven games.

The pitching matchup for game 3 will feature Cristian Javier for the Astros with Max Scherzer getting the ball for the Rangers.  Javier had a breakout season in 2022, but then struggled during the regular season this year.  But he’s a notoriously tough post season pitcher and looked great 6 days ago in game 3 of the ALDS where he racked up 9 strikeouts on five scoreless innings in a 9-1 Astros victory over the Twins.  He boasts a career 1.91 playoff ERA.

Future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer has been sidelined since Sept. 12 because of a strained teres muscle in his right shoulder.  The injury was supposed to keep him out of action for at least two months.  At the time it was announced, Rangers general manager Chris Young said it was “unlikely” that Scherzer would factor into Texas’ postseason plans.  Now, though, he’s part of Bruce Bochy’s pitching mix in the Rangers first trip back to the ALCS since 2011.

One of the great things about an all Texas ALCS is that we won’t have to worry about inclement weather.  The weather report for Wednesday calls for nothing but clear skies and mild temps in the low 70s at gametime.   

Here are the odds via DraftKings as of 10/17/23 at 1:05pm eastern:

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, Inc.

Every ALCS and World Series game will air on Fox and FS1, including game 3 of this series.  A plethora of streaming options are avaialble, the most popular of which are Fubo, Hulu Live+, YouTube TV, and Sling.  Several of those options include free trials as well.