Sox Reporter

Sox would see Astros next, Twins' playoff losing streak at 18

Sox Reporter

We don't know if the White Sox will win their AL Wild Card Series. But we know who they'll play in the ALDS should they advance.

The Houston Astros, who owned the worst regular-season record of any of the eight American League playoff teams, swept the Minnesota Twins in their AL Wild Card Series. If the White Sox advance, it will be a rematch of the 2005 World Series in the ALDS.

The Astros were the only AL team to reach this year's postseason with a sub-.500 record, just 29-31 during the regular season. But as the White Sox themselves have said repeatedly over the past few weeks, what happened in the regular season doesn't much matter come the playoffs.

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But the most shocking thing from that series wasn't the Astros advancing despite their lack of success during the regular season. It was the Twins' continued lack of success in the postseason. They've now lost 18 consecutive postseason games, a losing streak that dates back to 2004.

The Astros became national villains of sorts over the winter, when it was revealed they stole signs during their run to a World Series championship in 2017. Major League Baseball suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch as punishment, and the Astros fired both shortly after those suspensions were announced. Dusty Baker has managed the Astros to the second round of the postseason this year.

 

But of course, many of the players who made the Astros a perennial contender in recent seasons remain. That includes a ton of Dallas Keuchel's former teammates. The White Sox pitcher was a member of that 2017 team that won the whole thing.

Even without the injured Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, who departed for the New York Yankees in free agency last offseason, it was Astros pitching that did the job against the Twins in the Wild Card Series, limiting the AL Central champs to just two runs in those two games.

Of course, the White Sox will need to finish off the Oakland Athletics first before they can look ahead to the ALDS. The South Siders won Game 1 behind a dominant pitching performance by Lucas Giolito on Tuesday. Keuchel was knocked around by the A's and chased after 3.1 innings in Game 2 on Wednesday.

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