2019 ALCS Primer

New York Yankees (defeated Twins in 3) vs. Houston Astros (defeated Rays in 5)

Game 1- Saturday, October 12th @ 8:08 ET in Houston, FOX

Game 2- Sunday, October 13th @ 8:08 ET in Houston, FS1

Game 3- Tuesday, October 15th, TBD, in New York, FOX/FS1

Game 4- Wednesday, October 16th, TBD, in New York, FOX/FS1

Game 5 (if necessary)- Thursday, October 17th, TBD, in New York, FOX/FS1

Game 6 (if necessary)- Saturday, October 19th, TBD, in Houston, FOX/FS1

Game 7 (if necessary)- Sunday, October 20th, TBD, in Houston, FOX/FS1

 

Preview

Yankees

The Yankees were able to make quick work of the Twins, sweeping Minnesota in three games. In those three games, the Yanks outscored the Twins 23-6. The Bombers hit five home runs in the three games as well.

The collision course with the Astros that was predicted by many throughout the season has come to fruition. The Yankees lost the season series, taking three of seven total games. These two teams last met in the postseason in the 2017 ALCS where Houston won in 7 games to advance to, and ultimately win, the World Series. 

New York’s pitching staff will have their hands full. Their pitching staff finished 14th in baseball with a 4.31 ERA, but admittedly suffered from its fare share of injuries, most notably to young ace Luis Severino. They will be facing the best offense in the league, who is fresh off a 6 runs on 8 hit performance on Thursday night. The Yankees, meanwhile, have not played since Monday, a four day layoff. 

Player to watch- Gleyber Torres

The 22-year-old shortstop was one of the Yankees’ best players against the Twins. He went 5-12 with three doubles, a home run, and four RBIs in three games to go along with some dazzling play in the field. 

Astros

The Astros were able to ride Gerrit Cole’s two brilliant starts to fend off the feisty Rays. In two starts, Cole threw a combined 15 2/3 innings with 1 run allowed and a new divisional series record 25 strikeouts. The Astros have not lost a Cole start since July 11th.

Despite the overall brilliance of the Astros pitching staff, one thing they struggled at doing was limiting home runs. They were 19th in baseball in home runs allowed, serving up 230 long balls. The Yankees offense hit the second most home runs in baseball with 306 homers. The Astros will need to keep the Yankees in the park in order to win this series. 

Fortunately for the Astros, they also just so happen to have an offense that is on par with that of the Yankees. In their clinching win on Thursday, they scored 4 runs in the first inning and chased Rays starter Tyler Glasnow after just 2 2/3 innings. Houston has also yet to lose a game on their home field in the postseason, but on the flip side, they have yet to win on the road and were outscored 14-4 in two road games in the divisional series. 

Player to watch- Michael Brantley

The 32-year-old veteran is fresh off of a 2-3 performance on Thursday, including a home run. But, in 44 career postseason at-bats, he’s hitting just .182. Can Brantley keep the momentum going from a strong Game 5?