ALCS: Yankees vs Astros Games 1-3 Preview

The ALDS was filled with excitement and memorable moments from Altuve’s 3-homerun game to the Indians comeback win in Game 2. And we at Wingspan were here to make predictions before it all began. We had correctly called the struggles of Chris Sale and the dominance of Trevor Bauer in Game 1. We also had things right with the Indians going into Game 3 with a 2-1 lead and that a Game 5 would be necessary. The Yankees winning in Game 5 did throw us off, but nonetheless we have provided quality predictions thus far in the MLB Playoffs and will continue to do so through the World Series. We will take this series in halves since the pitching rotations have not been announced yet for the Yankees and only Games 1 and 2 are set for the Astros at the time of this writing.

If you’ve read our AL Wild Card and both ALDS posts then you are well aware of what the offenses and pitchers have accomplished for the Astros and Yankees throughout the regular season. And much of it holds true so far in the playoffs, except a few major changes.

While his tagline may be #AllRise, Aaron Judge has did a whole lot of sitting down in the ALDS as he struck out a record 16 times and had three games win which he earned the Golden Sombrero. For those unaware of what that is, it is the term used for a player who strikes out four times in a single game. Judge’s only hit of the entire series was a 2-run double in Game 4.

judgeWhile, Judge’s woes are taking center stage he isn’t the only one struggling. Chase Headley went 0-12 with 6 strikeouts while Gary Sanchez is is 4-23 with 10 strikeouts. The Yankees as a team is battig .201 and has struck out more often then they’ve been on base with 64 strikeouts compared to 35 hits and 21 walks. Those 64 strikeouts by the Yankees batters is also higher than the total number of strikeouts recorded by the Astros and Red Sox in their ALDS series. The Indians pitching staff cracked under pressure and gave away the series, but don’t expect the same from the Astros.

Keuchel pitched very well in the ALDS and is slated for Game 1 of the ALCS. Verlander struggled in Game 2, but overall pitched 8.2 innings and giving up 3 runs. The strikeouts for their matchup with the Red Sox was very low in comparison to the Yankees vs Indians, but that is sure to increase in the ALCS as the Yankees are a free swinging squad. This will suit them well as only the Indians struck out more batters than the Astros pitching staff this season.

The Yankees had a lot more to play for in the ALDS than a spot in the ALCS. With rumors floating around of Joe Girardi getting fired if the Yankees lost the ALDS, the players won this one for him. Now the pressure seems to be off Girardi as he likely secured his job for at least one more season in New York. This will likely take the do-or-die attitude out of the Yankees as this underdog team has already exceeded their expectations and win or lose the fan base will be happy with them.

sabathiaThis will still be a very exciting series with a lot of offense, especially in the middle games as the Astros #3 and possibly #4 pitchers take the mound. The Yankees pitching was their biggest factor in winning the ALDS as Sabathia’s (In his second start), Tanaka, and Severino each went deep into their games. If they can continue that in the ALCS and give the bullpen a more manageable 3 innings of work each night then the Yankees could make this very interesting.

Our Prediction:

The Yankees will come into this game looking to strike first against Dallas Keuchel. They will score an early run off Keuchel before their bats go quiet for the remainder of the evening. The Astros however will strike in the middle innings to get ahead and take the victory in a close game. Game 2 will be a gritty rubber match between Verlander and Severino or Sabathia with few runs being scored as the Astros once again scratch out a victory late in the game. Game 3 with be a typical slugfest in New York as we will see multiple homeruns being hit. The Yankees will come out on top as Aaron Judge breaks out of his slump and has some good swings in this game. After 3 games the Astros will lead the series 2-1.


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