ALCS 2018 - Houston Astros

DeadlySplitter

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Broadcast: TBS, Anderson & Darling again, at least we get Pedro in pre/post game.

Game 1, Sat 10/13, 8:09pm: Verlander vs Sale
Game 2, Sun 10/14, 7:09pm: Cole vs Price

Game 3, Tue 10/16, 5:09pm: Eovaldi vs Keuchel
Game 4, Wed 10/17, 8:39pm: Porcello vs Morton
Game 5, Thur 10/18, 8:09pm: Price vs Verlander

Game 6, Sat 10/20, 8:09pm if necessary: Cole vs Sale (5:09pm only if NLCS goes the full 7)
Game 7, Sun 10/21, 7:39pm if necessary


Following image is umpire assignments. they will rotate up one slot (and HP to RF) each game.



==================================

FWIW, both Fangraphs (53.3%) and 538 MLB Predictions (52%) have the Astros as slight favorites. They aren't hitting as insanely well as last year, but still plenty good. The main separation is their pitching has been lights out all year, with Verlander and Cole are two legitimate #1s this year - it would be really preferable that Price unfucks himself so we can attempt to match that pairing.

The pupil (Cora) taking on his teacher (Hinch) will be a storyline. Mookie vs Bregman will also be a storyline. Both teams are very likeable except for Osuna, HOU's closer they acquired from TOR at the deadline despite domestic violence issues.

I'm not even thinking about last year's ALDS series. HFA is flipped, we're a completely different team. This should be a lot of fun.
 
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brandonchristensen

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All I wanted from this post season was to advance further than the Yankees.

The Astros are a crazy good team. They aren't built around 4IP starts, their starters can go deep. Sox split the season series 3-3 with them, though to be fair, one win was aided by a blind call at home on Altuve.

Betts needs to unfuck himself.
10D needs to find his power.
JD needs to stop hitting the warning track.

Free Brock Holt.

Price needs to earn his salary.

That is all.

Oh, and fuck Craig Kimbrel. Stop throwing slop.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Astros won 4-3 actually. The series in Houston was a 4-game split. It was also when Mookie was on the DL, but JD was really good and so was Moreland at the time.

in other words, not very relevant now.
 

soxhop411

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I forgot that Stephen Curry is a Sox fan... He is tweeting about the sox tonight
 

LesterFan

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The fact that the Astros are favored, despite not having home-field, shows how freaking good they are. This is going to be a tough series. Price has pitched well against them, both this year and last postseason out of the pen. Absolutely need him to step it up. Everyone does.

The player I'm most concerned about on the Astros is Alex Bregman. Dude is a monster. Nearly impossible to strike out and and doesn't chase pitches. Make a mistake and he makes you pay. Went 5-9 with a 2B and 2 HRs with 4 walks vs the Indians.
 

Devizier

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Feels like if Karate Kid had an extended version where Danny Larusso has to fight Chong Li after defeating Johnny Lawrence.
 

lapa

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Please tbd something to 4pm ET or earlier, at least Game 1 in Saturday is doable with a deal with the Missus for getting up early with the kids on Sunday
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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What's the preferred thread starting situation? Like regular season and streaks keep going?
Anyhow... I'm expecting Price to bounce back this series. Take away his Yankee games and he's a great pitcher. Dude needs to go to a shrink. It's clearly not an injury and he's not tipping pitches against one team and one team only... so it's clearly psychological.
But I'm not very confident in our pen against the Astros. I think I'd prefer to see Eovaldi as a bullpen arm and Rodriguez as the Game 4 starter. Kimbrell gets one chance to close down a game... but who takes over if he gets bumped? After some game one ALDS hiccups, I have to say that Brasier looks comfortable there and has some attitude you want in a closer.

But Houston is a killer. I live in Austin and I have lots of Astros friends that were moaning and groaning when they were struggling to score this year and I kept telling them that they're still likely the WS favorite. Offensive struggles for teams that have that potential can just suddenly snap and they'll turn into a beast again.... they look loaded and scary.

My prediction? I'll be starting Game One of the World Series game threads.
 
Feb 6, 2018
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Going to be a great series with the best two teams remaining in the playoffs. Cora vs his old team. IMO we have to take game one since Cole vs Price favors them. Can Sale make three starts in this series?
 

richgedman'sghost

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I’d rather Fox and Joe Buck even if they brought back McCarver.
Disagee strongly...WTF is your problem with Darling? McCarver should have been retired about 5 years before he actually did. Darling is one of the best analysts in the game. I love him the few times I watched the Mets this year.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I assume they had this locked in before knowing the ALCS participants? There will be a lot of eyes going back and forth Sunday night.
Sigh. If we’re not constantly hitting F5 on the keyboard, we’re pushing “Last” over and over on the tv remote. How did our forefathers ever survive?
 

Pitt the Elder

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Suggesting that Kimbrel be bumped from the hill based on his tight rope walk yesterday is a severe overreaction, IMO. He's still by far our best reliever and, short of having a completely rested Sale ready to go in the 9th, he's our best weapon.

The Price animosity also confuses me. He's a good pitcher and, his Yankee bugaboo aside, he's done well for us this year. At best, jumping on him and booing him for a bad outing is counter-productive. Why boo your own guy and dangle the threat of tearing him a new one if he gets off to a poor start in the next home game? I'm no sports pyschologist, but if you want to amp up a guy's anxiety and fear of failure, that's how you do it.
 

lapa

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Suggesting that Kimbrel be bumped from the hill based on his tight rope walk yesterday is a severe overreaction, IMO.
It’s possible the idea was suggested by undermanned and overextended cardiac care units at the local hospitals.
 

RGREELEY33

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This should be an incredibly fun series to watch. It has a 2013 Tigers-Sox feel to it to me. Big gun starters that should overmatch the Red Sox. Should.
 

Average Reds

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Disagee strongly...WTF is your problem with Darling? McCarver should have been retired about 5 years before he actually did. Darling is one of the best analysts in the game. I love him the few times I watched the Mets this year.
I really like Darling as a part of the Mets broadcast team, and he was great when the Mets were in Fenway this year.

I was not a fan of his work in the ALDS. I'm not sure why he went there, but his harping about the unwritten rules/"respect for the opponent" in game 3 was epically stupid.

If we get the guy from the ALDS, then the criticism is more than justified.
 

IHateDaveKerpen

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The Sox and the ‘Stros are my two favorite teams - I was born in Houston, but I did most of my growing up in Winchester. This was easier for me when they were in different leagues.

The ‘Stros finally got over the hump. Go Sox.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Disagee strongly...WTF is your problem with Darling? McCarver should have been retired about 5 years before he actually did. Darling is one of the best analysts in the game. I love him the few times I watched the Mets this year.
I like Darling too, even after his unwritten rules bs the other night. Anderson, however, is so bad it's painful.
 

BaseballJones

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Feels like if Karate Kid had an extended version where Danny Larusso has to fight Chong Li after defeating Johnny Lawrence.
Hahahahaha this is perfect.

Houston is an absolute monster of a team. They literally have everything:

- Incredible starting pitching. Five starters, all with ERAs of 3.86 or better.
* Verlander - 2.52 era, 0.90 whip, 12.2 k/9, postseason stud
* Cole - 2.88 era, 1.03 whip, 12.4 k/9
* Keuchel - 3.74 era, 1.31 whip, 6.7 k/9 (might be the easiest to hit but he'll be a tough lefty for us)
* Morton - 3.13 era, 1.16 whip, 10.8 k/9
* McCullers - 3.86 era, 1.17 whip, 10.0 k/9

Obviously one of these guys won't start, but whoever doesn't start will be a very nice bullpen addition. Which brings me to....

- Tremendous bullpen.
* McHugh - 1.99 era, 0.91 whip, 11.7 k/9
* Rondon - 3.20 era, 1.32 whip, 10.2 k/9
* Peacock - 3.46 era, 1.17 whip, 13.3 k/9
* Harris - 3.49 era, 1.09 whip, 10.2 k/9
* Smith - 3.74 era, 1.01 whip, 9.1 k/9
* Osuna - 1.99 era, 0.88 whip, 7.5 k/9

I mean, they just have great arm after great arm coming out of the pen. We saw last year that they can be hit, but still, this is a great group that will be very tough on the Sox. So expect low-scoring outputs for Boston, which they could win, but that brings me to....

- Great, diverse offense.
* 4th in runs scored
* 7th in homers
* 5th in OPS
* 4th in OBP
* 10 guys with 10+ homers
* 9 guys with 100+ ops+ number

So it will be difficult to keep this team down. Plus they have tremendous championship experience. Oh, and they won't beat themselves. They committed the fewest number of errors in all of MLB. Had the highest fielding percentage.

So they're a team that literally can do anything. The only thing they don't excel at is base-stealing. 71 steals (19th in MLB) at a rate of 73.2% (12th in MLB). So even at that they're basically average. They hit, hit with power, hit situationally well, run the bases well, are great at fielding, and their starting and relief pitching is both elite. They have championship experience, a good manager, and have big-time swagger.

This team is an absolute juggernaut. Goliath in every sense of the word.

But Goliath got taken down by a single stone.

And let's be honest. Boston isn't David. Boston just ripped apart the 100-win Yankees by outscoring them 20-4 in two games in Yankee Stadium. They used their #3 and #4 starters and held the all-time best HR-hitting team homerless in two games in the Bronx with the season on the line. The Sox played sterling defense, had *great* situational hitting (20 runs with just a couple of homers...just 3 rbi on those two homers), and the bullpen was fantastic. The Sox are managed well and let's not forget, have HFA because while Houston won 103 games, Boston won FIVE MORE.

This series should be incredible.
 

patoaflac

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At least baseball starts 90 minutes before ,so in theory only the first half of the Patriots will overlap.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Two things I'll be watching is how Cora plays the catcher situation, and whether he gives a start to Eovaldi or EdRod. I was not a big fan of playing Vazquez over Sandy, but it sure as hell worked, so does Cora stay with that or go back to Sandy or at least a platoon.

I know we are all fired up about Eovaldi, but I truly believe Eduardo is the better pitcher. I get the LHP/RHP thing but it seems weird to not have Rodriguez pitching more than a few innings.
 

joe dokes

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Unlike the NYY, who seemed capable of taking advantage of the numerous walks ONLY by hitting home runs, the Astors have hitters. Just keeping it in the park probably wont be enough to win 4 games.
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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Two things I'll be watching is how Cora plays the catcher situation, and whether he gives a start to Eovaldi or EdRod. I was not a big fan of playing Vazquez over Sandy, but it sure as hell worked, so does Cora stay with that or go back to Sandy or at least a platoon.

I know we are all fired up about Eovaldi, but I truly believe Eduardo is the better pitcher. I get the LHP/RHP thing but it seems weird to not have Rodriguez pitching more than a few innings.
I would guess that Leon gets Sale and Vaz gets the rest. Given that Sale never shakes off, he's especially reliant on the catcher.

It would be ballsy to start Rodriguez and make Eovaldi the relieve ace, but I'd be in favor of it. Eovaldi seems to be uniquely suited to face this Yankees team, but I'm not convinced the Houston matchup is nearly as favorable.
 

EdRalphRomero

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Two things I'll be watching is how Cora plays the catcher situation, and whether he gives a start to Eovaldi or EdRod. I was not a big fan of playing Vazquez over Sandy, but it sure as hell worked, so does Cora stay with that or go back to Sandy or at least a platoon.

I know we are all fired up about Eovaldi, but I truly believe Eduardo is the better pitcher. I get the LHP/RHP thing but it seems weird to not have Rodriguez pitching more than a few innings.
Astros have an even more pronounced split than the Yankees. In 2018 they put up a .803(!) OPS against LHP compared to a much more pedestrian .733 OPS against RHP. And I would add, as a longtime Rodriguez supporter, he pissed me off pretty thoroughly in this last series with his mopey behavior and failure to cover first. He has not struck me as someone who is ready to seize back the reins. I'd consider going Sale, Eovaldi, Porcello in the 1-3 spots (so they all get 2 starts in a seven game series) and put Price in the 4th start and have him pitch out of the bullpen situationally.
 

joe dokes

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It would be ballsy to start Rodriguez and make Eovaldi the relieve ace, but I'd be in favor of it. Eovaldi seems to be uniquely suited to face this Yankees team, but I'm not convinced the Houston matchup is nearly as favorable.
On this issue, I'm really at peace whatever Cora decides. Most of the time we assume the manager has more information than we do. This time, its impossible to imagine that anyone has more insight than Cora on how certain Sox pitchers will match up with Astro hitters.
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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On this issue, I'm really at peace whatever Cora decides. Most of the time we assume the manager has more information than we do. This time, its impossible to imagine that anyone has more insight than Cora on how certain Sox pitchers will match up with Astro hitters.
I agree. I just think that if it's close, I have more faith in Eovaldi's ability to become a relief ace than Edro's.
 

Al Zarilla

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Disagee strongly...WTF is your problem with Darling? McCarver should have been retired about 5 years before he actually did. Darling is one of the best analysts in the game. I love him the few times I watched the Mets this year.
I agree about Darling up until this ALDS. The crap about the Red Sox not respecting the game when they were up 10-1, his mentioning it over and over. That is bullshit to me. Not in postseason, not against the Yankees, not in that ballpark. He also seemed down, maybe something going on with him. Compared with other color guy, Eck, I thought he was not good in this series. One last thing, a good broadcast team tells me things that I can’t see on the screen. I don’t remember much of that with Anderson and Darling.