Friday, October 13, 2017

Why I’m Not Afraid of the Houston Astros in the ALCS


For the longest time I was donned by my Twitter followers and peers the “Yankees Wizard” for my uncanny, and sometime mystical, ability to predict what was going to happen before it happened. While my predictions have become fewer and fewer because life has gotten so damn busy apparently it doesn’t mean the ability is gone because I all but called that the New York Yankees would take down the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS three weeks before the series even began. I labeled the post “Why I’m Not Afraid of the Cleveland Indians in the Postseason” and guess what, I’m baaaaack. This time I’m not afraid the Houston Astros and I am prepared to tell you why. #TAKE17.

The Houston Astros starting pitching has been fantastic this year and it only got better when the team pulled off a last minute trade to acquire veteran right-hander Justin Verlander. The Boston Red Sox felt the wrath of that starting pitching as well as the wrath of MVP candidate Jose Altuve in the ALDS but the Yankees are not the Red Sox. While New York has struggled against Dallas Keuchel throughout his young career, and to be fair everyone in the league has, New York has done extremely well against Verlander to the tune of the below stats. Shout out to Baseball Reference for the tables.


 Verlander vs. Yankees Offense

I Split G AB R H 2B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
New York Yankees1844056117201838101.266.327.443.770
Verlander vs. Yankees win/loss:

I Split W L ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R HR SO WHIP SO9
New York Yankees673.87181800111.211756181011.3888.1

The Yankees have done well against Verlander and have done generally well against the other Houston pitchers not named Keuchel as well. Keuchel can’t win all four games for Houston which means the Yankees have a legitimate chance at this thing here with the Astros. All New York has to do is get through their starting pitching early and get to the lackluster bullpen out in Houston and the team should have a chance to win every single night. While New York has one of the best bullpen’s in all of MLB and in the postseason this year the Astros do not, in fact Houston had one of the worst bullpens among all the postseason-bound teams here in 2017.


I am not saying the Yankees are World Series bound, I’m not saying that they aren’t either mind you, but what I am saying is that I am not heading into this ALCS as a fan thinking my team is about to be heading home after four-or-five games. Even seven games. I’m not worried about the Houston Astros and I don’t believe that this young, feisty and naïve team that doesn’t know when they should quit is either. That, my friends, is scary for the Houston Astros. About as scary as the Yankees bullpen has been this postseason. 

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