Act 2: The Astros, Yanks meet in the ALCS


If Dan P was at home working on the computer this would be a bit of a stat filled analysis of a very intriguing series. But this will be an on the fly, on the phone look at the Astros and Yanks from the heart as much as from the brain.

Before the season there was a big focus on the Big 3 in the MLB: the defending champion Red Sox, Yanks and the Astros. After the Red Sox faltered and fell by the wayside the Dodgers filled their spot in the Big 3.

Now one round into the playoffs (sorry can’t count the wildcard play-in as a round) the Dodgers are gone at the hands of the Nats, the Astros had to go to the 5th game to finally knock out the Rays, and the Yanks swatted the Twins like a familiar fly in a 3 game sweep.

Folks will say the winner of the ALCS will be the Champions of the World, but what seems true on paper rarely makes it to the field. Both teams need to stay focused on each game and one challenge at a time.

Hitting

The Astros are a Jekyl and Hyde team. At times they are a juggernaut and other times they seem like a meek shadow of themselves. They led the majors in the classic stats like BA, OBP and OPS and were lowest in Ks, but the Yanks scored a fraction more runs per game. The Yanks rode a record HR year this year to that run total. Both of these teams have tremendous depth in their lineups and when they do get on a roll they are a scary opponent. You could easily fill out an All Star team from these two lineups – Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Michael Brantley, Yordan Alvarez, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, D.J. LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres.

Advantage: Push

Starting Pitching

The Astros have the two best pitchers in baseball in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole and questions beyond. Zack Greinke looked very vulnerable in his only playoff start, Wade Miley looks like road kill, and Jose Urquidy has only started a handful of games and no playoff starts.

On the Yankee’s side one of their best pitchers Domingo German is suspended for domestic abuse charges. James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka lead a revised rotation with J.A. Happ backing them up.

The depth of both rotations are suspect, while the top of the rotations definitely favors the Astros.

Advantage: Astros

Bullpens

The Yanks have a super top trio of Aroldis Chapman, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton. The Astros bullpen is a bit shakier. Roberto Osuna can drop a bomb as well as put up a 1-2-3. Ryan Pressly is just back from injury and no sure thing. Will Harris may be the most dependable arm in the ‘pen.

Advantage: Yanks

The series may ride on the Astros home field advantage.

Totally Biased Prediction – Astros in 7 thrilling games.

106 comments on “Act 2: The Astros, Yanks meet in the ALCS

  1. Everybody is exhausted.
    The ump finally gives one to the Astros on Sanchez’s strikeout and Correa hits the very next pitch for the winner.
    Astros win.
    Texans win.
    Cowboys lose.
    Yankees lose.
    Does Sunday get any better than that?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am totally worn out! Good thing I’m retired because I’m sleeping until 10:00 tomorrow! There were some big time hero’s tonight….a total team win!
    OP….no it doesn’t get much better than that! Goodnight all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a game. And what a time for Correa and Springer to awaken. I sure hope it’s for the whole series, because after that walk off homer and the histrionics extravaganza by Carlos, including the # 1 salute all around the bases, the Yankees might have just a bit of extra motivation going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Truth in advertising – being on the east coast in the home of octagenarians I shut it down after the 10th inning and woke this morning to find out what happened.
    What a game – what a win! And Daveb I am worried that Carlos standing there admiring his walkoff and then what he did on the way around the bases might get him plunked tomorrow.
    Well worry about tomorrow- tomorrow.

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    • Dan, plenty of fan taunting with the hand to his ear too. And why the need to take his shirt off on the field? I thought that’s what you did when you put on the championship shirt. But if he continues to lift the team into the World Series, I’ll certainly live with it, at least for now. And if he gets plunked, so be it. Guys have been hit for less.

      But what a great job by the pitching staff! A must win, team win.

      Like

    • I don’t think the Yankees will have a problem with the Correa’s antics. It’s a walkoff and it seems like any shenanigans are ok on a walkoff. Once that ball clears the fence the game is over and you aren’t trying to show the opposing pitcher up.
      While we might not like it so much, truth is that every team does it on a walkoff homer.

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      • absolutely op. and the astros have done it on every walk off this year. if you look back, the yankees had some antics game 1. i have no problem with one of our guys celebrating a walk off home run AT HOME in a must win game. who wouldnt want to hold up a ‘we’re number one’ sign in such a situation.

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  5. Just woke up here. Exhausted after last night’s marathon. Our bull pen was the unsung hero of last night’s game. JJ has come up big time as he has faced 4 batters and struck out all four. Pressley has been somewhat of a disappointment. Harris and Osuna have pitched well and Rondon struck out the only batter he faced. For all the criticism that we’ve thrown at CC this year he has definitely come to play. I’m glad of that. One thing I wish our hitters would do is look to hit that 1st pitch. Most of the time it seems they’re getting a pitch down the middle at about 83 -89mph. If we’d start looking and swinging at that it might get the New Yorkers out of sync. Just my opinion. Now on to NY and let’s win this thing!

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  6. – If you want the entire world to start talking about James Paxton tipping his pitches. you just walk over to George Springer and act like you are talking about James Paxton tipping his pitches and you send every reporter into a frenzy.
    – If you are so good at recognizing what’s coming from opposing pitchers, how come you have scored 3 runs in 2 games.
    -In these two games alone, how many fly balls have we seen caught on the warning track? What’s up with that?
    – Yuli Gurriel hit 5 rockets last night and was 0 for 5.
    – Every at-bat in these games is critical. I would be willing to bet that six Astros at-bats started with a pitch right down the middle of the plate and that pitch was taken for a strike and was the only hittable pitch that batter saw. I could go to Gameday for proof of that, but I’m afraid of finding out that the number was higher than six.
    – What has happened to Yordan Alvarez? I know that in every at-bat he is getting screwed by the home plate umpire, but he looks completely lost out there.
    -Six umpires and when Sanchez screams “I fouled it”, not one umpire has the eggs to say that he missed it by at least six inches. He’s completely laughing his ass off (to himself) until the ump rings him up on a pitch that misses the plate by the exact same distance he missed the ball on his previous swing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, whoever the Astros hitting instructor is, he’s worse than Hudgens
      I’m horrible at recognizing pitches but even I can see all these first pitch strikes.
      Don’t these guys go back and check out videos?

      Álvarez will eventually put it together but probably not this year. Too much pressure in October baseball.

      The whole world knows US media is infatuated and obsessed with the Yankees.
      They will always get the benefit of the call.

      Lastly, I’ve decided I like regular season baseball over postseason.
      Being able to just watch and enjoy a game knowing if you don’t win tonight there’s another chance tomorrow.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I need help folks. I have a post ready to be posted but I can’t get my email up on my phone so I can’t send Chip a notice to put up my post.
    If someone who has his email would notify him I would appreciate it.

    Like

  8. Okay, I’ve complained enough about Carlos. Like I’ve said, I am sure glad we have him right now. And although I already said it early this morning, the pitching staff dug deep and got outs, one after the other when they really needed them. Our guys hit the ball much better than the 3 runs on the board indicate, but still, I’m not sure how many more games they can win without breaking out. I just hope it happens sometime during the ALCS, because it would be fun to watch.

    I think we’re in fairly good shape right now even if we only win 1 in New York. We’ve beaten the Yankees two straight here before.

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  9. I’ve never seen so many first pitches right down the middle ever. The Yankees obviously know it and until we start swing at them once in awhile nothing will change. Come on guys. More runs!

    Like

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