HOUSTON – The Astros announced the pitchers who will start the first three games of the American League Division Series.
In what seemed to be a formality, manager A.J. Hinch said Justin Verlander will start Game 1 on Friday afternoon, Gerrit Cole will start Game 2 on Saturday night and Zack Greinke will start Game 3.
The 'Stros will face the winner of the American League Wild Card game between the Oakland A's and Tampa Bay Rays. That game will be played on Wednesday night.
Hinch wouldn't commit to a Game 4 starter. Houston could go with rookie Jose Urquidy instead of veteran Wade Miley after the left-hander had a 16.68 ERA in five starts in September.
Hinch also said he expects shortstop Carlos Correa to play on Friday the AL Division Series opener.
Correa missed the last week of the regular season because of a sore back, but Hinch said Wednesday that he has been working out all week and feels great.
The 25-year-old Correa played just 75 games this season after sitting out from May 26-July 26 with a broken rib. He missed a month with the back problem, which also caused him to sit out last week.
Hinch said Correa took pitches in batting practice on Wednesday and faced Will Harris in one inning of a simulated game.
Hinch says Correa: "looks great and was moving around in a normal fashion."
Correa hit .279 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs this season.