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ALCS Game 3 Open Thread

After the Rangers took the first two games of the series in Houston, the ALCS now moves four hours north to Arlington. The defending World Series champion Astros need a win to get their feet back under them.

Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Right now, the two League Championship series aren’t looking particularly competitive. The Phillies are up 2-0 in the NL, and the Rangers have a 2-0 advantage in the AL. The Astros have not had the lead at the end of any inning in the first two games of this series. And now, they have to go on the road and win. The task in front of them is doable, but man does it feel tough.

ALCS Game 3, 8:03 p.m. ET, FS1

RHP Cristian Javier (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9 K) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (2023 playoff debut)

You have to imagine that the Astros feel pretty good about this matchup. Javier has thrown 11 shutout innings over his last two outings, the final day of the regular season against the Diamondbacks and Game 3 of the ALDS against the Twins. Although his numbers this season weren’t up to his typically high standards, we know what he’s capable of, and that has been apparent recently.

Scherzer is more of a wild card. It’s been five weeks since he last pitched in a game. The veteran righty has been battling a low-grade strain of a muscle in his right shoulder. At the time of his injury the Rangers suggested that his season was probably done. But there were whispers about him trying to come back for the ALDS. Ultimately, he wasn’t ready. But he did make the ALCS roster and will take the ball tonight.

Scherzer’s postseason experience is extensive, and it is littered with success. But it seems impossible that he is anywhere near 100% going into this game. That may not prevent him from being effective, but it could shorten his night. The Rangers bullpen has been good in this postseason, but there is always the chance they waver as the Astros see their best arms over and over again.

Astros Lineup

  1. Jose Altuve (R) - 2B
  2. Michael Brantley (L) - LF
  3. Alex Bregman (R) - 3B
  4. Yordan Alvarez (L) - DH
  5. José Abreu (R) - 1B
  6. Kyle Tucker (L) - RF
  7. Mauricio Dubón (R) - CF
  8. Jeremy Peña (R) - SS
  9. Martín Maldonado (R) - C

Rangers Lineup

  1. Marcus Semien (R) - 2B
  2. Corey Seager (L) - SS
  3. Evan Carter (L) - LF
  4. Adolis García (R) - RF
  5. Jonah Heim (S) C
  6. Mitch Garver (R) - DH
  7. Nathaniel Lowe (L) - 1B
  8. Josh Jung (R) - 3B
  9. Leody Taveras (S) - CF