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03.04.2019 03:11
BALTIMORE–The defending World Series champion Houston Astros cl Antworten

ose the 2018 season with a trip to Baltimore this weekend , and the first game of their four-game series with the Orioles is set for Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards.Houston already has clinched the American League West and will play the Indians in the Division Series. That starts on Oct. 5, and the Astros get home-field advantage there.The only time Houston would not hold the home-field advantage is if it meets Boston in the AL Championship Series as the Red Sox already have that locked up.Article continues below ...David Hess (3-10, 5.14 ERA) will start for the Orioles versus Houston right-hander Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.92) on Thursday.Cole has given an already-strong Astros’ starting staff even more punch this season. He has won five in a row and last lost on Aug. 10. This will be the first time Cole has pitched against the Orioles this season — and in fact, he’s never gone against Baltimore in his career.Hess has been up and down during this rookie season. The right-hander has gone 1-5 in the past two months but pitched effectively on several occasions.This will be the first time he’s ever pitched against the Astros.Houston (100-58) is coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday in a game that really meant nothing. The Astros actually clinched the division total very early Wednesday morning when Oakland lost to Seattle.However, Houston officially celebrated in the locker room after the loss in Toronto, and now will prepare for this four-game series in Baltimore that really holds little meaning except that the Astros want to go into the playoffs on a good note.“We’re the only team that can repeat, and our team needs to know that Alex Gordon Jersey ,” Houston manager AJ Hinch told reporters. “It’s important for us to have our moment and lock back in. In a week, we’re going to play real baseball.”Baltimore is starting the final series of an historically poor season. To make matters worse, the Orioles have run out of pitchers at times, especially in the starting rotation, which is a big reason they went with a committee approach in Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader in Boston.Plus, most of the pitchers Baltimore is using do not have a lot of major league experience and are being hit hard as they get used to life at this level.“There are better days ahead for those guys,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the young pitchers. “But it’s a tough learning curve. (However) it’s never as bad as it seems or as good as it seems.”The Orioles are coming into this series after splitting a day-night doubleheader in Boston on Wednesday. Boston crushed Baltimore 19-3 in the first game — the biggest margin of defeat the Orioles (46-112) have suffered in this forgetful season.However, Baltimore bounced back and pulled out a 10-3 victory in the nightcap , thanks to seven runs in the final three innings. Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesWith the 2018 Major League Baseball season nearing an end, New York Yankees star Aaron Judge will finish as the league's top-selling jersey, according to's Daniel Kramer.Reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts rounded out the top five.It marks the second consecutive year in which Judge had the top-selling jersey. After mashing 52 home runs on his way to the American League Rookie of the Year award last year, the 6'7", 282-pound slugger is hitting .278 with 26 dingers, 22 doubles and 66 RBI.His numbers have taken a hit this season as he missed more than a month due to a broken wrist. However Mike Moustakas Jersey , a healthy first half earned him his second consecutive All-Star nod.Meanwhile, Altuve has helped the Astros post their second consecutive 100-win season. He is hitting .314 with 13 home runs, 29 doubles, two triples and 61 RBI in 2018.Chicago's roster is loaded with stars, but it's Baez who has stood out the most. The versatile infielder has put himself among the leading candidates for the National League MVP award by hitting .293 with 34 home runs, 39 doubles, nine triples, 21 stolen bases and 111 RBI. And of course Salvador Perez Jersey , his flair only adds to his appeal.Baez is one of three Cubs in the top 10, according to Kramer. First baseman Anthony Rizzo and former NL MVP Kris Bryant rank Nos. 6 and 7, respectively.Perhaps the most surprising result is Giancarlo Stanton, who checks in at ninth. In his first season in the Bronx, the reigning NL MVP is hitting .262 with 37 home runs, 33 doubles and 97 RBI. Those numbers may be lower than expected, but given he is arguably the game's most prolific slugger and just joined the league's most storied franchise, there was reason to believe his jersey would have flown off the shelves even more.Two-way Los Angeles Angels phenomShohei Ohtani (.283 average , 22 home runs, 20 doubles and 59 RBI in 101 games; 4-2, 3.31 ERA in 10 starts) ranks eighth. While he was the talk of the baseball world with his strong performance both at the plate and on the mound, anulnar collateral ligament injury may have impacted his stock.

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