ALCS is one step closer to the ultimate goal. The Red Sox face the Astros in the best-of-seven Championship Series.
Neither team needed a Game 5 to get to advance from the ALDS to the ALCS. Both teams are coming in hot. The Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros are coming in as the top two teams in OPS this postseason, .919 and .803 respectively. Their OBP was basically the same, .372 and .371, but Boston has been on a power surge. The Red Sox have hit 11 home runs in this postseason so far, nearly triple what the Astros hit against the Chicago White Sox. The top four hitters in RBI this postseason will all be a part of the series.
Kyle Tucker‘s hot season continued into the postseason. He didn’t take any walks against the White Sox, but he hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in 17 at-bats. Only two guys have double-digit hits in the postseason so far. Only one of those guys is still playing. Enrique Hernández has 10 hits and batting .435 with two home runs and six RBIs.
Offense shouldn’t come at a premium in this series. Both teams pitching have struggled. They are going to need to step up in a big way to make it to the World Series.
As far as runs go, both teams were pretty identical. In 39 IP Boston has given up 20 runs, while Houston has given up 18 in 35 IP. The big difference has been hits given up. In more innings, Boston has given up 10 hits less than Houston. If the Astros are going to continue to give up tons of hits, they are going to need to find a way to make sure the Red Sox don’t score.
The Astros are going to be without stud starter Lance McCullers. McCullers left Game 4 against the White Sox after going only four innings with a forearm injury. He was having a great start to the postseason. In 10.2 IP, McCullers had only given up one run while striking out nine, the rest of the Astros starters are really going to have to step up to keep their bullpen from having to pitch too much.
Nathan Eovaldi has led the Red Sox pitching staff so far in this series. In 10.2 IP he has struck out 16 batters. He has also given up two home runs but leaving batters to a .179 batting average has helped him out a lot. The Red Sox will be looking to him to be able to lead the charge again.
Expect this to be a high-scoring series that could potentially go the distance. I expect the Red Sox to with this ALCS match-up in six games.