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Opening Day has come and gone, and the Houston Astros’ ten-game win streak on that day has finally been snapped. Although it’s a disappointing end to a historic run, let’s not dwell on that. The focus of this blog post is on the intriguing topics that emerged from the game: Rafael Montero’s three-year, $34.5 million contract, the bottom half of the Astros lineup, and more. Keep reading to delve into the details and see why Monday’s game has given us plenty to talk about!

Let’s start with Montero. With his less-than-stellar track record, many were skeptical of the Astros giving him such a high-priced contract. However, the spending explosion of this past offseason has put things in a different light. While his 2022 season was impressive, it remains to be seen whether he can repeat that performance in 2023. On Opening Day, Montero threw five four-seam fastballs out of his ten pitches overall, but none were particularly high in the zone. This is something to keep an eye on as his lack of success in the past magnifies any struggles he may encounter in the future.

Next up, let’s talk about the bottom half of the Astros’ lineup. With Altuve and Brantley out, the team’s lineup becomes much shorter, making it less threatening to pitchers. This was painfully evident on Monday, particularly with the quartet of Yainer Díaz, Jake Meyers, Martín Maldonado, and Mauricio Dubón. They went a combined 1-for-13 with five strikeouts, highlighting how the absence of Altuve and Brantley can hurt the team. While it may be too early to draw conclusions based on just one game, it’s clear that the Astros’ lineup will occasionally struggle to score runs until they get healthier.

In conclusion, there were plenty of visual and intriguing topics to emerge from the Astros’ Opening Day loss. Despite the end of their historic run, there’s still much to be excited about for the 2023 season. Montero’s contract, the bottom half of the lineup, and the Astros as a whole have plenty of potential to make some noise in the league. So let’s not despair over one loss and instead look forward to what the team can achieve in the coming months!