Astros head to New York with a 2-0 ALCS lead
By Cody Poage
The first two game of the ALCS have gone in the Astros favor, but there is no telling if the breaks will continue in New York.
Welcome to Saturday night, friends and fellow baseball fans. Or Sunday morning for those on the east coast? Anyway, the Astros currently hold a 2-0 advantage over the Yankees in the ALCS. Life is good right now for a Houston baseball fan. Not so much for a New York baseball fan. The Mets are included.
The ALCS up to this point have been low scoring affairs. Two games decided by just one run. Both games had a final score of 2-1. Like I just stated, both games were low scoring affairs. The top two teams in terms of wRC+ in the regular season – 121 and 108, respectively – have not provided the firepower most expected.
Credit has to go to both pitching staffs. For example, the Astros have received two very, very good outings from Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. The two veterans have provided the Astros a combined 16 innings, nine hits, a lone run, two walks and 23 strikeouts. Yes, the Astros one-two punch in the rotation has provided the lift the team needed when the offense struggled.
On the other side, the Yankees have received quality pitching as well. Game 1 starter, Masahiro Tanaka, allowed just two runs in six innings. Their bullpen has only allowed five hits and a run in 6.1 innings. Like the Astros, the Yankees aren’t having issues with their pitchers. It is mainly due to the lack of offense.
Courtesy of a few breaks going the Astros way, Houston heads into New York with a 2-0 series lead in the ALCS. The odds are definitely in their favor right now.
But there is a possibility of a letdown.
After all, three teams have blown a 2-0 advantage to not advance to the World Series. I am not saying it will happen to the Astros, but let’s temper our expectations just for a bit. While it is not entirely the 2004 NLCS situation, I still remember the Houston losing to the St. Louis Cardinals after holding a 3-2 advantage. Call me overly sensitive but I have learned not to discount the impossible. I actually thought I would relive that experience again in the 2005 NLCS. You remember, right?
Next: Astros: Three batters to watch in the ALCS
Game 3 of the ALCS starts Monday night at 8:00 PM (ET), which means 7:00 PM (CT) here in Houston. Astros’ right-hander Charlie Morton starts against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia. This should be fun.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB.com**