Tied one game apiece, the ALCS between the Astros and Red Sox shapes up to be a good one.
The Astros welcome the Red Sox to “The Juice Box” for Game 3 of the ALCS. There are so many components to success in the postseason, and the Astros look to activate three of those components tonight.
Here is the lineup for Tuesday’s tilt from Minute Maid Park. Note that Jose Altuve is the DH with Marwin Gonzalez sliding over to second base. Tony Kemp is in left field while Brian McCann makes his first appearance in the series as the primary catcher.
Pitch Count and Runs
Tonight’s game will be very fun to watch. The atmosphere will be electric and the level of play will exceed all expectations. In what is now a best-of-five series, the Astros will look to force Nathan Eovaldi out of this game early, and dig into the Red Sox’ bullpen. Whether it’s via pitch count or the mere fact they are scoring points on Eovaldi, they want to see as many of the Boston relievers as possible tonight. This sets up the next element of playing over the next three days.
Three Consecutive Games
One major benefit of being the road team for Houston is they bring Boston into Minute Maid Park for a three game set. Not only that, they have an opportunity to tire the Red Sox’ bullpen, and cause them to make drastic decisions to avoid defeat. Tonight’s game sets up a sequence of moves that can have the Astros popping bottles sooner than later. However, that is not to take for granted. The Astros must perform at a high level in all aspects of the game to avoid a similar scenario.
We need ‘The Beard’
Needless to say, the Astros need another “vintage” performance from their bearded southpaw.
In what has been a very peculiar season for the 2015 AL Cy Young winner, Dallas Keuchel has a chance to re-write the narrative of this season tonight. Throughout all the rough first innings and the uncharacteristic outings, lies Keuchel’s best opportunity to put the Astros in the driver’s seat of this series. A strong performance from Dallas, consisting of six to seven innings of quality pitching, leaves the Astros with plenty of options for the remainder of the series.