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ALCS: AstroWorld of Hurt

It’s Game 3 of the ALCS and what a perfect time to switch venues, as the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox remain locked up in a 1-1 series.

Minute Maid Park, Houston TX by Roy Luck is licensed under CC BY 2.0

ALCS: AstroWorld of Hurt

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Houston Astros – (4-1)

SKELETONS: Where’s Yuli, José and Carlos?

What happened to Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and José Altuve? They have been non-existent this series, with all three hitting below .225, going a combined 12-for-59. 

Yes, all three have been haggered by injuries this season, but there’s still a level of playing hurt that these guys have lived up to in the past. All three are super hero caliber players. The ‘Stros either need these guys to connect on some pitches or have someone else step up in their place. Without the Astros’ middle of the lineup, they’re putting all their hopes on George Springer and Alex Bregman. 

Perhaps starting Altuvé at DH will solve that problem. It still remains that the earlier Houston gets their big bats back, the better. 

NC-17: Bregman Gets Nasty

We’ve covered the Bregman swagger before, and while he’s been kept quiet by the Red Sox inability to pitch to him, he wasn’t quiet about his disdain for Game 3 starter Nathan Eovaldi. 

That’s a lot of talk for a guy who is 1-for-3 against Eovaldi. Did you know that Bregman has as many strikeouts as home runs against Eovaldi? He does. That’s a fact. Bregman’s all talk. 

That being said, that’s the one guy the Red Sox should be worried about putting his money where his mouth is. Bregman’s been playing out of his mind this year. The guy is NASTY.

Bartsool’s Red Sox correspondent Jared Carrabis responded with this:

“Alex Bregman’s Instagram story is video of the Astros hitting home runs off of Red Sox Game 3 starter Nathan Eovaldi, because the last time an opposing team trolled the Red Sox it worked out so well.”


Perhaps this is “New York, New York” Part 2?

BUTTERFLY EFFECT: Forget the Regular Season

The Houston Astros won 57 games on the road this year. Going 57-24 away from Minute Maid Park set the Astros apart from the rest of the league, making them the best road team in 2018. At times it seemed like Astros had an aversion to winning at home. That’s going to have to change, quickly, considering that the second-best road team is about to come to town. 

In their most recent trips to the postseason, the Astros are 11-2 at home, including a 2-0 start to the 2017 ALDS against the Red Sox. During that span, the Astros outscored their opponents 71-42 at home, compared to their 2018 rate of 373 runs to 288 on the road.

The Astros need to forget their Regular Season home record, and they needed to forget it yesterday. If that doesn’t happen, the Red Sox will storm into town and clinch a trip to the World Series or take the advantage back to the Fenway for Game 6. Houston has to forget the past to change their future. 

Boston Red Sox (4-2)

CAROUSEL: Jumping Out Early

The Red Sox will need to jump out early against Keuchel in Game 3. Keuchel has an absurd 6.88 ERA in the first inning, as well as posting a 1.794 WHIP in his 34 starts. If the Sox want to capitalize it needs to be early on. 

The Red Sox are 3-1 in games where they scored first, so drawing first blood will be a key. If they can control the game in Houston, they’ll be able to take Game 3. 

WAKE UP: Figure out Third Base

As per usual, Ryan Kelly called it. 

“Sure, Rafael Devers has held down the fort at the hot corner for most of this season (as long as he’s been healthy). But I think it’s not a sure-fire notion that the position is his to man in October. His bat is looking better as of late, and he’s showing a bit of the power the Red Sox have been waiting for from him. But his glove continues to be a problem. His 23 errors this season are tied for the league lead, which could be problematic against right-handed heavy lineups like the one the Yankees possess.

If Cora is okay absorbing the risk defensively, Devers’ bat provides much more upside than utility men such as Brock Holt or Eduardo Nunez (and the way Ian Kinsler’s bat has gone flat, Holt may be getting the nod at second to start the playoffs). Perhaps Boston goes with a matchup-based approach, rotating any of the aforementioned guys based on who they face on the mound.

But I’d like to see Cora give Devers the start at third- albeit with a short leash in close games. If it gets to the 7th or 8th inning, and the Sox are up by a couple runs, he shouldn’t hesitate to put in Nunez or Tzu-Wei Lin to sure things up defensively. But I think it’s important to have his bat in the lineup to start, especially for a Red Sox team whose bats have gone ice cold the last two postseasons. I think he has too much pop to leave on the bench.”

– Ryan Kelly, The Turf Sports

The problem here for the Sox has been who gets the nod at third. While Eduardo Nuñez has the advantage on the field, Rafael Devers is swinging a hot bat, hitting .400 this postseason. When facing the hot pitching from Houston, Cora should go with Devers, since Nuñez seems to have gone cold. 

WHO? WHAT!: This Whole Dumb Thing

Over/Under for total mentions of this non-story is currently set at 150. Place your bets and hammer the over.

SICKO MODE: Predictions

Game 1 goes to the Astros after taking the lead in the later innings. However, Charlie Morton and the Astros struggle to topple Rick Porcello, who has been the Red Sox best pitcher. 

Then there’s Game 5…

Can a “recently released from the hospital” Chris Sale take down a “how is he still this good?” Justin Verlander? We’ll have to wait and see. But for now, the two best teams in the MLB will be taking this one game by game. 

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.



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