After losing four of their last five games, the Boston Red Sox finally clinched the American League East Division title by beating the Houston Astros 6-3 at Fenway Park on Saturday. And maybe the Red Sox bats will come to life, and even produce a home run or two. Verlander has been excellent for the Astros, and did outduel Sale with the Tigers at the beginning of this season. Heading into the series, the pitcher that would start for the third game was up for debate among the media. He will likely be the player to start at DH the rest of the series for the Red Sox, and if Game 1 is any indication, it might not be a bad thing. The Astros will counter Pomeranz by sending out former Cy Young victor Dallas Keuchel, who went 14-5 on the season with a 2.9 ERA. Of course. In the a year ago, Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price have a combined postseason ERA of 11.85. He has the most recent postseason experience of the three. He became the second pitcher ever to allow at least three homers and seven earned runs in his first playoff start, joining Cincinnati's Gene Thompson in the 1939 World Series.
The Red Sox do have several great hitters on the team like Dustin Pedroia and Rafael Devers but the Red Sox have struggled hitting home runs all year which could pose as a serious problem when facing an offensive juggernaut like the Astros.
The Astros or Indians deserve to be in the World Series.
The matchup that matters most: Verlander had some command issues with his fastball the first half of the season, but he has cut his walk rate from more than 10 percent to 4.3 percent in the past two months. Furthermore, he is particularly susceptible to giving up big hits, which can be lethal in the postseason. They are the number three seed in the American League and would have to beat the Astros in a best of five series in order to move on to face either the Cleveland Indians or the victor of the American League Wild Card Game. Yes, the same Fister who cratered last season with the Astros. In the 14 starts in which Sale didn't reach double-digit strikeouts, he had a 5.02 ERA. The first is fatigue. "We have been working really hard on my changeup and was able to execute a good one there and get a double play". Run differential turns out to be a useful measure of overall team performance - the top nine major league teams in run differential all made the playoffs.
The Astros are as complete as any team in the Major League Baseball, but ultimately their chances to win their first title will all will rest on whether or not they can overcome their kryptonite of left-handed pitching. He said that typically they go with who's hot at the moment.
Chris Sale Thursday joined the ranks of David Price and Rick Porcello as aces who don't pitch like aces for the Red Sox in October.
Boston's ace had an fantastic season, but his playoff inexperience was obvious Thursday afternoon in Houston. He allowed seven runs in five innings, leading to the 8-2 win in Game 1 of ALDS. He has done a decent job, but does he deserve a start in Game 3?