Astros should have the offence to hold off Yankees in ALDS

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The division series are over, and with them, the postseason field has been whittled down from 10 teams.

If the game of baseball has entered some new evolutionary realm this season, populated by flame-throwing pitchers and all-or-nothing sluggers who together pushed home run and strikeout totals to record highs, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees represent its pinnacle - the most highly evolved species of this new era of baseball. Houston won the season series 5-2 over the Yankees, taking two of three at home and three of four in the Bronx. The clubs are far more evenly matched than it appears on the surface, with Houston having scored 38 more runs but NY having allowed 40 fewer.

Second baseman Altuve was singled out, and Girardi recognised him as a force. To hear Yankees manager Joe Girardi tell it, it was simply a matter of the Indians getting ahead in the count and putting Judge away with pitches that dotted the edges of the plate.

"There's so many young guys on this team that maybe they don't realize they are supposed to lose", Singleton said.

Correa's.384 career batting average against the Yankees ranks second among active players with at least 60 at-bats against them. We asked the Astros players what they do and some were quite simple things like waking up early or waking up late.

Beltran, the 40-year-old designated hitter in his 20th big league season, admits that he was a bit surprised at how quickly the youngsters developed.

Tanaka pitched a stellar outing in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Indians when the Yankees were facing elimination. While the Yanks were embarking on their improbable comeback against the Indians, the Astros were at home eating popcorn. Judge, the 6-foot-7 rookie right fielder, hit an AL-best 52 homers this year.

Masahiro Tanaka threw seven scoreless innings with a walk and seven strikeouts in the Game 3 win over the Cleveland Indians, the first of three straight victories that enabled NY to rally from down 2-0 in the ALDS. "When we made the move to pitch Verlander in Game 4 out of relief we had the backdrop that Dallas was going to start Game 5". For the Astros, Jose Altuve has been on fire, going 8-for-19 with three homers and four walks in the Astros' four-game series against the Red Sox.

Now that all playoff series in the next two rounds are back to a best-of-seven, starters will be back to being starters and the team's with the deepest rotations will be back to owning the series advantage.

"I have been trying to hit it the other way so it felt good", said Bellinger.

The matchup that matters most: It's the postseason, so the bullpens will be a series-long storyline.

The Astros bullpen has seen an effective closer in Ken Giles, but the setup role can become a potential issue.

Both Bregman and Giles had to work very hard to get to where they are today, but they believe that even though they are just two of the three New Mexico-bred players in the Major League Baseball, more will come.

While the Astros have a pitching staff full of flamethrowers - bolstered by the addition of former Cy Young Award victor Justin Verlander in August - they have chosen lefty Dallas Keuchel, the softest-tossing pitcher on their staff (88.7 miles per hour average fastball), to start Game 1 for them Friday night, opposite Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. "Then after that is where it gets a little thought-provoking, I guess". That Wild Card put them into a completely unpredictable one-and-done game to get to the ALDS.

"For that win in the wild-card game, it wasn't just special for me and the validation, it was special for everybody to go into NY and play that well", he said.

"Baseball has changed there and they have done a good job. He's the one who did it". The Astros will score early and ride Keuchel to a 5-2 victory. This isn't the time to start betting against them.



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