The ALDS threw us for a loop with our predictions. The Yankees were a huge let down, allowing the Red Sox to advance while the Astros swept their series clean. The Astros were a much stronger team through that first round of playoffs as they were clearly the better team in every game they played against the Indians.
They got strong pitching performances from Verlander, Cole, and Keuchel. When it went to the bullpen, it was lights out. The Astros bullpen pitched a total of 9.2 innings in the 3 games of the ALDS against the Indians. In those innings, the Astros bullpen allowed just 1 run on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 9.
The Red Sox also got strong performances from starters Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi while also getting a surprise dominant performance from Chris Sale, who pitched more than 4 innings for the first time since July. Unlike the Astros, the Red Sox bullpen is a weak spot for them. In the 4 game series against the Yankees, the Red Sox bullpen pitched a total of 17 innings, allowing 7 runs on 11 hits and 8 walks. Their saving grace is the Yankees failure to hit with runners on base and a high strikeout rate which led to 17 strikeouts by the bullpen.
The Astros as a team, put the ball in play far more often than the Yankees, which spells trouble for the Red Sox who could not keep runners off the bases and relied on the strikeout to keep the runs from scoring. The Astros as a team only struck out 16 times in their 3 game ALDS while going 11 for 30 with runners in scoring position (.367). By comparison, the Yankees struck out 31 times against the Red Sox while going 4 for 26 with runners in scoring position (.154).
Game 1 will be a see a strong pitching performance by Verlander, seeing him go at least 6 innings while allowing just 1 run to score. Chris Sale will also pitch well before getting pulled in the 7th inning, leaving the game to the bullpen. The Astros batters will hit the bullpen hard to open up the game and give them the lead. Once again the Astros bullpen will give a lights out performance to secure the victory.
Game 2, David Price will be looking for redemption after short outing against the Yankees. Unfortunately, he will struggle to keep the Astros off the board as he allows a couple of runs to score early on. It will be another short outing for Price as he gets pulled before the 4th inning is over, leaving it to the bullpen once again. This time around the Red Sox bullpen will perform better, but will get into trouble late. Gerrit Cole for the Astros will pitch well early on, before allowing a home run in the middle innings that will even up the score. A late inning surge by the Astros, led by Bregman and Springer will secure the win.
Game 1 – Astros win
Game 2 – Astros win
17, 11 hit, 7 run, 8 walk, 17 K