The Texas Rangers stormed into Houston and put the defending world champion Astros on notice, using tough pitching and timely offense to take the first two games of this ALCS — and take a commanding series lead back home to Arlington. But Houston has been here many, many times before, and they seem unlikely to let their title defense go down in flames without a fight. The ‘Stros will hand the ball to righty Cristian Javier (10-5, 4.56 ERA) as they hope to avoid falling into a 3-0 hole, while Max Scherzer (13-6, 3.77) makes his return from a shoulder injury to start for Texas. First pitch from Globe Life Park is set for 8:07 p.m. ET.
Texas enters as -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Astros at +110. The run total is set at 9.
Houston has released its lineup for tonight’s game, so let’s take a look at how they’ll line up against Scherzer.
Astros starting lineup, ALCS Game 3, Wednesday, Oct. 18
Dusty Baker mentioned during the off day that he might consider moving the struggling Kyle Tucker (temporarily) down in the order, and sure enough, that’s exactly what he’s done for Game 3. Michael Brantley will start in left and hit second tonight, with Alex Bregman shifting down to third, Yordan Alvarez and Jose Abreu staying at fourth and fifth and Tucker sliding all the way to sixth. Mauricio Dubon replaces Chas McCormick in center field as well.