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We’ll know soon enough who plays the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. And we will have pity on them.
The opponent will be either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. The Yankees won five of seven against the Astros this season, but lost the ALCS to them in seven games a year ago. The Red Sox won more games than any other team this season, but (as they say) you can throw the records out in the playoffs.
The Astros can do it all. Field, hit, run, hit, pitch, hit. They eviscerated the error-prone Cleveland Indians 11-3 on Monday to close out the American League Division Series in three games. The Indians, other than qualifying for the playoffs, did nothing that bordered on postseason competitiveness. And they’ll have a number of free agents to deal with going forward, including former AL MVP Josh Donaldson.
George Springer, the Astros outfielder, is on a tear. He hit a pair of home runs on Monday, but he was not alone in taking the rake to Cleveland pitching. Carlos Correa, who had a rough season and was hitless in the first two games of the playoffs, drilled a three-run homer as well.
Have we mentioned pitching? The Astros had the lowest team ERA in the majors. They’re chintzy giving up runs and quite capable of scoring them.
They probably drew the least of the postseason qualifiers in the Indians, but they didn’t let them even mount a challenge. The defending World Series champions appear to be quite serious about winning a second in a row.
Bet against them at your own risk. If you’re playing Houston, you can simply say: “Houston, we have a problem.”
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