ALCS: NY vs. HOU

jon abbey

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Format is 2/3/2, the series starts on Saturday, either in Houston or if TB somehow steals two more games, in NY. Either way, I think NY will keep the same rotation:

Paxton
Tanaka

Severino
Happ (w/Green maybe opening)
Paxton

Tanaka
Severino

Also NY advancing means that CC's career might not be quite over, he said tonight he is ready if NY wants to activate him for the ALCS, and I have to think he'd be an upgrade on Lyons.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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The ALCS is the World Series IMO. The Yankees would greatly benefit from Houston/Tampa going five, even if Houston wins. Houston would go into the series backwards, with Cole not starting until Game 3.
 

crow216

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The ALCS is the World Series IMO. The Yankees would greatly benefit from Houston/Tampa going five, even if Houston wins. Houston would go into the series backwards, with Cole not starting until Game 3.
We said that in 2003 also. The only World Series is the World Series and I'd hardly think any Yankees fan would feel relief if we beat Houston and have to jump right into a west coast world series against LAD.
 

DeadlySplitter

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the ALCS was definitely the WS last year as the Dodgers really had a down year and were very lucky to just make the WS. The Dodgers are being pushed to the limit by a great rotation of the Nats, but they still mash against weaker pitching and I think would look just fine if they defend the pennant after facing ATL/STL's weaker staffs. now if it's not the Dodgers out of the NL... feels like none of the other teams would stack up. but that's why you play the games.

as far as the topic of this thread, I don't see the rotation changing for sure, it worked really well. Ottavino becoming a pumpkin is a bit of an issue.
 

jon abbey

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The NL bullpens are just brutal, Jansen is much worse this year and has yet to be tested in this postseason. I think any of those NL teams would be tough, but I agree that HOU and NY are the best two teams.
 

jon abbey

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Will Voit get some at bats if they face lefties in the ALCS?
Sitting who, Gio? Didi? If Voit looked like himself down the stretch, I think they'd really try to work him in, but he didn't and putting him in will make the infield defense weaker no matter who they sit.
 

crow216

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Sitting who, Gio? Didi? If Voit looked like himself down the stretch, I think they'd really try to work him in, but he didn't and putting him in will make the infield defense weaker no matter who they sit.
I think is just a pinch hitter at this point. They sit Stanton for defense then pinch hit Voit for Maybin. He's looking at very few ABs unless there's a strong matchup.
 

jon abbey

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It sure would be nice to have Tauchman, he is better both offensively and defensively than Maybin, but even if he gets healthy, they're not going to bump Maybin for him at this point.
 

jon abbey

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I heard something about Chapman injuring his hand by a thrown bottle in the celebration last night. Any truth to that?
It did happen but it is supposedly inconsequential, also Britton left the game with a trainer but they say that is nothing also and he is fine.
 

jon abbey

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Aaron Hicks says he is ready to come back (!!!).

"Injured New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks feels like he’s ready to return to the roster for the AL Championship Series.

Hicks, who has a right elbow flexor strain and last played on Aug. 3, is among a group of players at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa who were not on the AL Division Series roster.

Hick said Tuesday he is “definitely ready to go out there and play.”

“For sure,” Hicks said. “That’s really what I’m getting ready for is to get back and play in the playoffs. Get back to playing baseball.”"

 

crow216

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Was coming here to post that.

I'm not sure how to build this roster. I guess that means Maybin is off the roster if Hicks is healthy. I really don't like that Hicks hasn't played in awhile and would essentially join the roster without any real reps against the best pitching in the league.
 

jon abbey

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CC is easy to get on the roster, he is an upgrade on Lyons if he can pitch, and if he can't, they can always replace him.

Hicks is tougher, I agree, but they have a few more days to figure it out.
 

bquine

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Tbh, I feel good about whatever roster the Yankees will likely put forward. Oddly, the only guy I don't want to see replaced is Wade. 60/65 speed with good to great SB instincts is more valuable in the post season, I think, than another potential bat off the bench. This lineup is too good to platoon or pinch hit for with any regularity in any case, and even in those cases Wade provides above average defensive coverage at multiple positions if made necessary, including outfield.

I realize I now sound like a burner account for Tyler Wade.
 

jon abbey

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Hehehe, that last sentence really made me laugh, nice.

Yeah, they could bump Voit for Hicks too if they are not going to use him, or they could go to one less pitcher.

I don't think Hicks goes right back into the lineup, but I do think he could get himself back in if he looks good off the bench. I guess you bench Stanton then? He is the only current weak spot on D, Hicks bumping him would give them the best team D they've had in a long time. One of the Twins relievers (May?) talked between games 2 and 3 about not allowing themselves to be intimidated by the "6'5" guy" and then the "6'7" guy", obviously Stanton and Judge, not even vice-versa, living rent-free in their heads. I think his presence would take a toll on non-Twins pitchers too and at some point he is going to start launching soul-crushing bombs again.

Also I didn't get why they didn't play LeMahieu more at 1B in September once it became obvious that he would play there fulltime in the postseason, he has played very little there in his career, but he is maybe starting to settle in better now, some great plays in game 3 (the liner, but also getting back to first and making the stretch towards the OF on that Gleyber throw from RF, those are the two I remember).
 

crow216

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Hehehe, that last sentence really made me laugh, nice.

Yeah, they could bump Voit for Hicks too if they are not going to use him, or they could go to one less pitcher.

I don't think Hicks goes right back into the lineup, but I do think he could get himself back in if he looks good off the bench. I guess you bench Stanton then? He is the only current weak spot on D, Hicks bumping him would give them the best team D they've had in a long time. One of the Twins relievers (May?) talked between games 2 and 3 about not allowing themselves to be intimidated by the "6'5" guy" and then the "6'7" guy", obviously Stanton and Judge, not even vice-versa, living rent-free in their heads. I think his presence would take a toll on non-Twins pitchers too and at some point he is going to start launching soul-crushing bombs again.

Also I didn't get why they didn't play LeMahieu more at 1B in September once it became obvious that he would play there fulltime in the postseason, he has played very little there in his career, but he is maybe starting to settle in better now, some great plays in game 3 (the liner, but also getting back to first and making the stretch towards the OF on that Gleyber throw from RF, those are the two I remember).
I think Hicks, being a switch hitter, probably plays the matchups with Gardner or Encarnacion. I can see him pinching for either of them. Unless there is an actual injury Stanton is nursing, I don't think they could justify taking him out of the lineup.
 

jon abbey

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Hicks also would need a 40 man move to come back from the 60 day DL, Tauchman is the only one left on the 10 day, so if he is a hundred percent out, he could go to the 60, or they could dump one of the fringe pitchers, Gearrin maybe. They could try to sneak Cortes Jr or Adams off the 40 man and back to Scranton, but both would probably be claimed. They need to go anyway, but ideally for at least a little value once the season is done. Anyway, that isn't a simple move either.
 

jon abbey

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I think Hicks, being a switch hitter, probably plays the matchups with Gardner or Encarnacion. I can see him pinching for either of them. Unless there is an actual injury Stanton is nursing, I don't think they could justify taking him out of the lineup.
There's a situation where you are going to pinch-hit for the assassin known as Edwin? The guy who just came right off three weeks on the DL to hit cleanup in the first three playoff games? The guy with 34 HRs in 418 ABs this year? Let EE bang.
 

TheDivision

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Maybin has been playing well recently after his awful stretch. In limited usage (3 AB) in the ALDS he has 1 HR, 2 runs, 2 SB, 1 RBI. If anything give him more Stanton AB.
 

crow216

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There's a situation where you are going to pinch-hit for the assassin known as Edwin? The guy who just came right off three weeks on the DL to hit cleanup in the first three playoff games? The guy with 34 HRs in 418 ABs this year? Let EE bang.
Well, that's why it's hard to figure out how Hicks fits in. He's not an improvement over 2019 Gardner either. So yea, if he's ready he'll be on the roster but I don't think he starts.
 

jon abbey

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Well, that's why it's hard to figure out how Hicks fits in. He's not an improvement over 2019 Gardner either. So yea, if he's ready he'll be on the roster but I don't think he starts.
Maybin is a surprisingly mediocre defender, so Hicks fits in as a better defensive upgrade, some combo of him and Gardner in LF/CF is NY's best defensive alignment with Tauchman out.
 

jon abbey

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"Aaron Hicks (elbow) is "very much" a consideration for the ALCS and came to NYC from Tampa for a sim game (indoor hitting because of the weather), per Aaron Boone."

"CC Sabathia (shoulder) threw today, "looked really good" and is an option for the ALCS, too, Boone said."
 

jon abbey

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If they win tomorrow, HOU is going to add pitching reinforcements, Brad Peacock for a bench position player and probably someone for the worthless Miley, maybe Devenski or young Bryan Abreu.

The NY head to head numbers against Verlander are scary:

Hicks 2-23, .255 OPS
Encarnacion 5-43, .435 OPS
Judge 2-18, .436 OPS
Sanchez 2-19, .211 OPS

Didi and DJ have hit well against him, but yikes. Go Rays!
 

jon abbey

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OK, here comes the matchup everyone has been waiting for all year. TB helped NY out by pushing Cole back to game 3, game 1 against Greinke is pretty essential for NY if they are going to steal the series.
 

crow216

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OK, here comes the matchup everyone has been waiting for all year. TB helped NY out by pushing Cole back to game 3, game 1 against Greinke is pretty essential for NY if they are going to steal the series.
Not only is it important to win game 1, getting into their bullpen to put some extra pressure on Verlander after his stinker is going to be important.
 

jon abbey

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Verlander will be game 2, they need to beat Greinke in game 1 so that even if they lose to Verlander in game 2, they have the possibility of winning 3 straight in NY and not having to come back and face Verlander/Cole in games 6 and 7.

Edit: Oh, maybe I see what you mean, but they just need to get game 1 however. Greinke can pitch a complete game as long as NY can somehow steal it.
 

crow216

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Verlander will be game 2, they need to beat Greinke in game 1 so that even if they lose to Verlander in game 2, they have the possibility of winning 3 straight in NY and not having to come back and face Verlander/Cole in games 6 and 7.

Edit: Oh, maybe I see what you mean, but they just need to get game 1 however. Greinke can pitch a complete game as long as NY can somehow steal it.
Yea, I meant game 1 is also an opportunity to impact Verlander in game 2. I agree with everything you're saying though. This entire series needs to be played like every game is an elimination game. Verlander and Cole are just going to choke the offense.
 

TheDivision

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OK, here comes the matchup everyone has been waiting for all year. TB helped NY out by pushing Cole back to game 3, game 1 against Greinke is pretty essential for NY if they are going to steal the series.
Yup, it couldn’t be any other way despite the Rays tease. As for facing Cole in game 3, they have to do what everyone has failed to do thus far. His command is incredible. He’ll paint the black with a perfect pitch for a strike and then pitch there again two inches up, down, left or right outside and have the hitters chasing for another guaranteed strike.
 

j-man

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we are going to play verlander and cole 4 times plob games 2'3'6'7 game 1 is a must win because the plan needs to be take 1-of2 then win the middle 3 or make them use verlander in game 5 down 3-1 my q can the yanks win 2 there because hou can beat us once in ny
 

jon abbey

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So now we definitively know that the insanely great 2018 Sox were the only thing keeping the world from three straight HOU/NYY ALCSs.
 

jon abbey

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NY still hasn't announced what they will do with Hicks, I am guessing in game 1 he will come in for Stanton midway like Maybin had been doing, and Boone can see how he looks in game conditions and go from there.

So I think they will activate CC and Hicks for Lyons and Voit (the Astros only lefty is Miley who might not even make the ALCS roster). I would also maybe do Ford for Maybin or Wade as they could use another lefty option later in the series against the two-headed Colander, but I have not seen that rumored.
 

jon abbey

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HOU will need a 4th starter in this series, no way they come back with Greinke on 3 days rest for game 4. Peacock is supposed to rejoin them for this series, so maybe him.

NY should have the SP edge in game 4 if Happ is not too rusty, his last start was Sept. 25, he had one sharp-looking inning in relief in the MIN series. Happ was terrible for a lot of the year, but he was NY's #2 in last year's postseason, he never lost velocity this year even at his most awful, and late in the season he finally figured it out again and had a 1.65 ERA in 5 starts in September, .188 BA allowed, .570 OPS. Against good competition too, OAK, @BOS, @DET, TOR, @TBR, 5 total runs allowed in 27.1 innings, and if there's any truth to today's stories about the postseason balls not flying out as easily, that can only help him too.

 

Congo

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If what they're saying about the balls is correct, how they're exhibiting 3 times more drag in the postseason than during the regular season, then Happ is exactly the kind of pitcher who can benefit from this change.
 

jon abbey

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Greinke faced NY twice this year with ARI, he shut them down but there is not much overlap with the current NY lineup.

April 30: Only Gardner, Sanchez, and Gleyber overlap with the current lineup, and they went 4-12 with two doubles. The rest of the team went 1-18 and NY lost 3-1.

July 31: This one has more overlap, Judge, Encarnacion, Didi, Gleyber and Urshela. Greinke went 5 innings/2 runs, then there was a rain delay and he left up 3-2, but NY came back with 5 in the 7th and 8th for a 7-5 win.


 

jon abbey

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NY announces their rotation as Tanaka, Paxton, Severino, which would give Tanaka a home game in game 5 assuming it gets there.

Saturday: Tanaka at Greinke
Sunday: Paxton at Verlander

Tuesday: Cole at Severino
Wednesday: Urquidy (?) at Green/Happ (?)
Thursday: Greinke at Tanaka

Saturday: Paxton at Verlander
Sunday: Severino at Cole

NY's most obvious path to stealing the series is game 1 plus the three home games and ending it in 5, but more realistically, they will likely need to win 2 of the 3 games Cole/Verlander don't start and 2 of the 4 that they do. Either way, game 1 is close to essential for NY.
 

jon abbey

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ALCS start times

Game 1: 7:07 p.m. CT
Game 2: 7:07 p.m. CT

Game 3: 3:08 p.m. CT
Game 4: 7:08 p.m. CT
Game 5: 7:08 p.m. CT

Game 6: 3:08/7:08 CT
Game 7: 6:38 p.m. CT
 

jon abbey

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Looks like Hicks will replace Wade, judging from the guys who are currently taking BP. Same nine starters as last series, bench of Hicks, Maybin, Voit and Romine.
 

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Even in Houston, the fans love David Ortiz. As the pre-game show began and ARod, David Ortiz, and Frank Thomas were being introduced, the Astros fans were chanting "PAPI! PAPI!"

He is truly universally adored.

And ARod gets crickets.