The Astros were scheduled to play the Rangers for three games in Houston this week, but Hurricane Harvey, which flooded the city and surrounding region this weekend, has made that impossible. MLB has officially announced that Tropicana Field, which is vacant until next week, will host the two Texas teams instead.
It was initially possible that the two teams would just shift to Arlington, home of the Rangers, for the three-game series. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that it was then unclear if the September series between the two teams would then end up being played in Houston. Ken Rosenthal reported that the switch was unlikely, however, given difficulties it would then create for the Rangers and fans who already had tickets.
In addition, the follow-up series against the Mets could very well take place in New York at Citi Field. This situation, as Ken Rosenthal also pointed out, would create 19 consecutive road games for the Astros, who did not pack for such a situation and are in the midst of a race for securing the American League’s top record and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Because of this potential scheduling snafu, it’s still possible for the Mets to come down to St. Petersburg to play the Astros at Tropicana like the Rangers did. After all, the Mets were supposed to be the road team for the series, anyway, so all this means for them is changing their flights.
That being said, in the grand scheme of things, the comfort levels of the local baseball team are low on the scale in Houston right now, and the Astros as an organization are surely aware of this as well.
MLB and the Astros are going to have to make the best of, what is for the team, an unfortunate situation, and for the city they hail from, a disaster. It’s unclear when the next time the Astros would be able to play in Houston is, but the next scheduled game on the calendar following this 19-game stretch is Sept. 15 against the Mariners. While that seems relatively far off, everything depends on how effectively Houston drains and how quickly the city is able to bring itself to the point of hosting baseball there once more.