ALCS Breakdown: Red Sox vs. Astros
Well, Sox fans, we are four wins away from advancing to the Fall Classic. For all of you that are now suddenly acting like fans again, welcome back. For those of you, like me, who have been saying this team is a lot better than everyone thinks, we were right. Please don’t do the victory lap yet; we need eight more wins than we can fully enjoy our victory lap. Allow me to share with you a quick ALCS Red Sox vs Astros series breakdown.
It seems the narrative is still that the Red Sox don’t have a chance in this series. I beg to differ. You just beat the best team, record-wise, in the American league in 4 games. If that doesn’t get through to you that the Sox are more legit than you think, I don’t know what will. I honestly believe this is a lot more of an even matchup than people think. Both lineups are solid. Both have about 1-2 solid starters. Lance McCullers (The Astros’ best starter this year) is out for the whole series now. Tonight the Astros have their best, technically relief pitcher, Framber Valdez going game one against Chris Sale. That should be an advantage, Red Sox, keyword should be. For game 2, you have Eovaldi vs. Luis Garcia. Garcia is another solid arm and posted a 3.48 ERA this year during the regular season. That said, I don’t think he is a reliable number 2 starter. He got hit around big-time vs. the White Sox in the last series, so hopefully for Sox fans, that continues. Eovaldi has been dealing for us all year, so again, it should be advantage Red Sox, pitching-wise.
The Astros lineup is legit no way around it. If you make a mistake, they will capitalize. You are going into their house for the first two games; the place will be rocking, so you need to come ready to play. Bregman, Correa Altuve, Gurriel are all swinging a hot bat, and that’s dangerous. As for the Red Sox lineup, we go as our 3,4,5 go. So if Boggy, Devers, and JD show up a decide they want to play baseball, we can hit with the Astros; if not, suddenly that advantage on paper in the pitching department looks a hell of a lot smaller, and we are in trouble.
Lineups wise I give the advantage to Houston at the moment. Mainly because so far this postseason, we have had one game where Xander, Devers, and JD all had a great offensive game. When that happened, we put up serious offensive numbers. As for the Astros, it seems their lineup 1-7 is all clicking simultaneously. As the saying always goes tho, good pitching beats good hitting. It’s just going to come down to how long can the Sox pitching keep the Astros at bay. The Astros will score runs; that’s a fact. If we get through these first two games in Houston, take a minimum of 1 and bring it back to Fenway series tied 1-1, we are in GREAT shape. The Red Sox dominate at home 3-0 this postseason, to be exact.
Key Hitter for game 1
Red Sox: Rafael Devers
It is no secret Devers is battling some arm/shoulder injury. Fastballs up in the Zone a virtually unhittable for him now. The letter of the law on attacking him in the Tampa and New York series was high velocity up, and it worked! Why is he the key? Because Valdez’s fastball only averages about 92-93 MPH. Valdez is more of a breaking ball pitcher with a very good curveball. Now all of a sudden, Devers doesn’t have a weakness anymore. Look for Devers to have another big game in this ALCS Red Sox vs Astros game.
Astros: Yordan Alvarez
This guy is swinging a hot bat right now. He is sliding into the four-hole for Houston and is currently hitting .273 with a homer and 3 RBIs. Again those numbers may not seem to be jumping off the page, but if you stop their cleanup hitter, it makes dealing with that bottom of the order a little easier. The Astros have Correa batting in the five spot today, and I think that’s to give Alvarez a little more protection in the lineup. Get my Alvarez, deal with Correa, and 7,8,9 for them are much easier opponents, all of which seem to have forgotten their bats this postseason so far.
Without McCullers, the Astro’s rotation gets extremely thin. Both teams are feeling it for sure. Sox just knocked off the best team in the American League in 4 games. Astros just kicked the hell out of the White Sox, who are also a great team. The Astros, to me, are a very “front runner” team. What I mean by that is, when it is going good, they roll and win. When they face some adversity, they fold up and die. The Red Sox need to jump on them early and keep them down. The McCullers’ loss is massive in this series. Pair that with the fact the Sox have gotten here despite Chris Sale puts us in good shape. My prediction is Sox in 6. Chris Sale bounces back to the Sale of old and World Series here we come!
Hope you enjoyed this ALCS Red Sox vs Astros!
-Kevin Perdios (@kperdios15 on Twitter)
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