Today in Arlington, the Texas Rangers host the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the 2023 American League Championship Series…The series is tied 2-2 after Texas won Games 1 and 2 in Houston and the Rangers won Games 3 and 4 in Arlington.
- In any best-of-seven Postseason series that was tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 46 out of 65 times (70.7%), including 15 of 19 times in the LCS (78.9%).
- When the home team wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, they have won the series 23 of 37 times (62.1%), including eight of 11 times in the LCS (72.7%).
- When the road team wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, they have won the series 22 of 28 times (78.6%), including seven of eight times in the LCS (87.5%).
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE THE ROAD
The road team has won all four games to begin the 2023 American League Championship Series.
- This is the seventh best-of-seven series all-time to have the road team win each of the first four games and first since the 2019 World Series when the road team won all seven contests.
- The only other LCS to have the road club win the first four games came in 1993 (Blue Jays won Games 1 and 2 in Chicago, before White Sox won Games 3 and 4 in Toronto…Toronto won the series in six games).
- There have been three previous seven-game series with the road team winning the first five games: 2019 World Series (all 7 – WSH/HOU), 1996 World Series (first 5 – NYY/ATL) and 1906 World Series (first 5 – CWS/ CHC).
BACK AT GLOBE LIFE FIELD
Today the Rangers are playing just their fourth home game in the last 25 days…Texas finished the regular season with a six game road trip and has played six of their first seven Postseason games away from home.
- Wednesday night’s attendance of 42,368 was a sellout and the largest crowd for a Rangers game in Globe Life Field history…Last night’s crowd of 42,060 was the second-largest at the ballpark for a Rangers game.
- The Rangers are 1-2 in Postseason home games at Globe Life Field.
- Globe Life Field has hosted games in the ALDS, NLDS, ALCS, NLCS and World Series…The ballpark hosted 16 total Postseason games during the 2020 season.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE?
- The Rangers went 50-31 (.617) at home in the regular season, which was the second-best home record in the American League (Tampa Bay went 53-28 at Tropicana Field).
- Houston is 8-1 at Globe Life Field in 2023 (regular season + Postseason) and has won their last seven games at the ballpark…Overall, the Astros have won 12 of their last 13 and 20 of their last 25 in Arlington… Additionally, the Astros are 55-30 (.647) on the road this year combining the regular season and Postseason, which is the highest win percentage in the Majors.
- The Rangers have now lost two straight games following a seven game win streak to begin the 2023 playoffs…The win streak finished tied for the second-longest win streak in MLB history to begin a Postseason…The only team with a longer streak to open a Postseason was the 2014 Royals (eight games).
- Texas still has an active six game road win streak to begin the Postseason…They are the fourth team all-time to win six straight on the road at any point in a single Postseason; the only teams with longer streaks are the 2019 Nationals (8 games) and 1996 Yankees (8 games).
ABOUT GAME 4
Last night, the Astros won Game 4 of the 2023 ALCS by a 10-3 score to even up the series at 2-2…José Abreu hit a three-run homer and Chas McCormick added a two-run homer to lead the Houston offense…Jose Altuve totaled three hits and scored three runs to move into second place on the Postseason all-time runs scored list.
- The Globe Life Field roof was open last night for the 12th time in 2023 (regular season + Postseason) and the first time since May 21 vs. Colorado.
- Teams that win Game 4 to tie up a seven-game Postseason series at 2-2 have gone on to win the series 31 of 65 times (47.6%), including eight of 19 times in the LCS (42.1%).
100 PLAYOFF GAME CLUB
Last night, Jose Altuve played in his 100th career Postseason game and become the seventh player all-time with 100+ playoff games played, joining Derek Jeter (158), Jorge Posada (125), Bernie Williams (121), David Justice (112), Manny Ramirez (111) and Yadier Molina (104).
In the 2023 Postseason, Yordan Alvarez leads the Majors in home runs (6), RBI (13), slugging (1.065), OPS (1.522) and total bases (33) and is tied for the lead in runs (11) and extra-base hits (8).
The 2023 ALCS features the two winningest active managers in baseball with Dusty Baker (2,183 career regular season wins) facing off against Bruce Bochy (2,093 career regular season wins)…Both skippers are in their 26th season as a MLB manager.
- This is the second Postseason series where both managers have 2,000+ career wins…In the Dodgers 2009 NLDS sweep of the Cardinals, Joe Torre (2,246 wins) defeated Tony La Russa (2,552 wins).
- Dusty Baker has led his team to the Postseason for the 13th time in his 26 years as a Manager, including all four of his years in Houston…His teams are 3-2 in League Championship Series, including a win with San Francisco in 2002 (vs. STL), a loss with the Cubs in 2003 (vs. FLA), a loss with the Astros in 2020 (vs. TB), a win with the Astros in 2021 (vs. BOS) and a win last season vs. NYY)…Baker’s 56 career Postseason wins lead all active skippers and rank fourth all-time…Baker is 33-17 (.660) with the Astros in Postseason play.
- Bruce Bochy has reached the Postseason for the ninth time in his 26 seasons as a Manager…His teams are 4-0 in League Championship Series, including a win with San Diego in 1998 (vs. ATL), and wins with San Francisco in 2010 (vs. PHI), 2012 (vs. STL) and 2014 (vs. STL)…Bochy’s 51 career Postseason wins rank fifth all-time…Bochy is the only manager in MLB history to win the pennant in each of his first four LCS appearances… He is looking to become the first manager all-time to win a League Championship Series with three different franchises.
Josh Jung has already set Texas franchise rookie records for a single Postseason with three home runs and seven extra-base hits…He also set a Rangers single-game rookie Postseason record with four RBI in Game 3…He has hits in six of nine games this Postseason and seven of 11 hits in the playoffs have gone for extra bases.
ON THE MOUND
Today’s starting pitching matchup features a rematch of Game 1 with Houston’s Justin Verlander taking on Jordan Montgomery for Texas.
- Verlander is making his third start of the 2023 Postseason and second of this ALCS…He is allowed just two runs across 12.2 IP in his two starts (1.42 ERA).
- Montgomery is making his third start of the 2023 Postseason and was the winning pitcher in Game 1 of the ALCS after tossing 6.1 scoreless innings at Houston
Both closers in the ALCS have seen success in their Postseason careers.
- Houston’s Ryan Pressly has converted all 14 of his career Postseason save opportunities, including all three save chances in 2023…His 14 Postseason saves are the most in Astros history…The streak of 14 straight successful save conversions are the most to begin a playoff career all-time…The only longer save streak at any point in a Postseason career is a 23 game stretch by Mariano Rivera spanning 1998-2001.
- Texas closer José Leclerc has finished seven of the Rangers nine Postseason games this year and has converted all three of his save chances, while allowing one run in 7.1 innings (1.23 ERA).
2023 AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
- Houston is playing in the ALCS for a seventh consecutive season, which is the longest streak all-time by an A.L. team and the second-longest by any team in the Majors, trailing only Atlanta’s run of eight straight appearances in the NLCS from 1991-99 (excluding the 1994 Strike season).
- Texas is in their third League Championship Series in franchise history, having won both of their previous two appearances in 2010 & 2011.
- Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman have appeared in LCS games in seven consecutive years…They join John Smoltz and Tom Glavine as the only players to appear in at least seven straight LCS…Smoltz and Glavine each appeared in eight straight for the Braves from 1991-99 (no LCS was played in 1994). (credit: MLB’s Sarah Langs).
- Overall, 20 members of the Astros active roster had previous LCS experience, while six Rangers make their returns to the League Championship Series.
Rangers rookie Evan Carter has reached base safely in all nine of the Rangers Postseason games this year…He has also become the first Ranger ever with multiple outfield assists in a single Postseason.
HOW THE ASTROS GOT HERE
Houston won the American League West division for the third consecutive season and the sixth time in the last seven years…The Astros 90 wins were their fewest in a full season since winning 84 games in 2016; they had 101+ wins in four of the last five full seasons…Houston did not clinch the division title until the final day of the regular season with their win at Arizona paired with the Rangers loss in Seattle…With the #2 seed in the American League, the Astros did not compete in the Wild Card round and defeated the Minnesota Twins in four games in the Division Series to earn their seventh straight appearance in the LCS.
HOW THE RANGERS GOT HERE
Texas snapped a streak of six consecutive losing seasons and posted a winning record for the first time since going 95-67 in 2016…Texas spent 139 days in first place in the A.L. West but ultimately finished in second place due to the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Astros…Despite not having home field advantage in either series and facing the teams with the two best regular season records in the American League, the Rangers had a two-game sweep in the Wild Card series at Tampa Bay and a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles in the Division Series… The Orioles went 101-61 in the regular season to earn the A.L.’s top seed in the Postseason, while the Rays won 99 games to secure the first Wild Card position in the American League.
IF THE RANGERS ADVANCE
The Rangers would have home field advantage if they advance to the World Series regardless of the opponent they face…Texas finished with a better regular season record than the Diamondbacks and would win a tiebreaker against the Phillies following their three-game sweep at Globe Life Field from March 30 – April 2 in the first three games of the regular season.
IF THE ASTROS ADVANCE
The Astros would also have home field advantage vs. Arizona if they advance to the World Series, but would lose a tiebreaker to the Phillies with Philadelphia winning two of three games at Minute Maid Park from April 28-30.
ASTROS GAME 5 STARTING PITCHER: – RHP JUSTIN VERLANDER
2023 POSTSEASON: 1-1, 1.42 ERA
2023 REGULAR SEASON: 13-8, 3.22 ERA
TONIGHT’S START: Making his 38th career Postseason appearance (37th start), his 14th League Championship Series start and second start of this series…The 37 Postseason starts will rank second-most all-time, behind Andy Pettitte (44)…The 14 LCS starts will tie Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux for third-most all-time, trailing Tom Glavine (17) and Andy Pettitte (15).
2023 POSTSEASON: Is 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA (12.2 IP – 2 ER) across two starts in the 2023 playoffs…Earned the win in Game 1 of the ALDS vs. Minnesota on Oct. 7 at Minute Maid Park (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 SO) and took the loss in Game 1 of the ALCS on Sunday (6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO).
POSTSEASON CAREER: Has a 17-12 career playoff record with a 3.51 ERA (220.1 IP – 86 ER) and 241 strikeouts across his 37 games (36 starts)…His 241 career playoff strikeouts are the most all-time…The 17 wins rank second all-time (behind Andy Pettitte – 19)…The 220.1 career playoff innings pitched are second-most all-time, trailing Pettitte (276.2).
2023 REGULAR SEASON: Combined to go 13-8 with a 3.22 ERA (162.1 IP – 58 ER) and 144 strikeouts in 27 starts between the Mets and Astros…Was 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA (94.1 IP – 33 ER) and 81 strikeouts for New York in 16 starts before being traded back to the Astros on Aug. 1 with cash considerations in exchange for minor league outfielders Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford…With Houston, he went 7-3 with a 3.31 ERA (68 IP – 25 ER) and 63 strikeouts in 11 starts and pitched to a 2.88 ERA (50 IP – 16 ER) across his final eight starts of the regular season.
VS. TEXAS: In 35 career regular season starts against the Rangers, is 21-8 with a 2.60 ERA (218.1 IP – 63 ER) and 242 strikeouts…Won his only regular season start vs. Texas this year on Sept. 6 at Globe Life Field (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO)…In his last 10 starts against the Rangers (regular season + Postseason), is 8-1 with a 1.67 ERA (64.2 IP – 12 ER) and 77 strikeouts…In three career Postseason starts vs. Texas, is 1-2 with a 5.56 ERA (18 IP – 9 ER) and 18 strikeouts (2011 ALCS Game 1, 2011 ALCS Game 5 and 2023 ALCS Game 1).
RANGERS GAME 5 STARTING PITCHER: – LHP JORDAN MONTGOMERY
2023 POSTSEASON: 2-0, 2.08 ERA
2023 REGULAR SEASON: 10-11, 3.20 ERA
TONIGHT’S START: Making sixth career Postseason appearance (fifth start) and second career start in the 2023 American League Championship Series…Today will be fourth strat of the 2023 Postseason.
2023 POSTSEASON: In three games this Postseason, is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA (17.1 IP – 4 ER) and 13 strikeouts…Earned the win in Rangers playoff debut in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series at Tropicana Field (7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO)…Took a no-decision in Game 2 of the ALDS at Baltimore (4+ IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) and earned the win in last start in Game 1 of the ALCS vs. Houston (6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO)…Is the only pitcher in Rangers history to have multiple scoreless starts in a single Postseason.
POSTSEASON CAREER: Has a 2-0 record and 1.88 ERA (24 IP – 5 ER) and 20 strikeouts across his five previous Postseason games (four starts)…Made Postseason debut in a start for the Yankees in Game 4 of the 2020 ALDS vs. Tampa Bay (4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO)…Returned to the playoffs last season for the Cardinals and pitched 2.2 shutout innings in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series vs. Philadelphia…Two of three starts for Texas this Postseason have been scoreless…Just two pitchers in A.L. history have had three scoreless starts in a single Postseason: Kenny Rogers (2006 DET) and Corey Kluber (2016 CLE).
2023 REGULAR SEASON: Combined for a 10-11 record and 3.20 ERA (188.2 IP – 67 ER) and 166 strikeouts in 32 starts between the Cardinals and Rangers…Went 6-9 with a 3.42 ERA (121 IP – 46 ER) and 108 strikeouts in 21 games for St. Louis before being traded on July 30 with RHP Chris Stratton and international bonus pool money, in exchange for LHP John King, INF/OF Tommy Saggese, and RHP T.K. Roby…After joining the Rangers, he went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA (67.2 IP – 21 ER) and 58 strikeouts in 11 starts…Finished the year with a 0.67 ERA (27 IP – 2 ER) across his final four regular season starts.
VS. HOUSTON: In six career regular season starts vs. Houston, is 1-1 with a 3.73 ERA (31.1 IP – 13 ER) and 29 strikeouts…Won only start against the Astros this year on June 27 for St. Louis at Busch Stadium (6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO)…Only previous Postseason game vs. Astros was in Game 1 of this ALCS (W; 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO).