In the National, the Phillies and the Padres caused the surprise by eliminating the four powers of the National League in two rounds of the series. Seeing the Padres gain home-court advantage in the Championship Series is…unexpected.
But on the other side, it was the two best teams in the American who got their ticket to the championship series.
No, it hasn’t always been easy for New York this season, but hey.
The two teams have met three times in the championship series in recent years. In 2017 and 2019, the Astros beat the Yankees atop the All-American before winning in 2017 but losing in 2019.
In fact, since 2017, the Astros have been a Championship Series subscriber. They lost in 2018 against Boston, they lost in 2020 against Tampa Bay and they won in 2021 against Boston.
So the Yankees may not have the playoff experience of the Astros, but now they have a chance to do themselves justice.
After all, it will be remembered that in the last two appearances of the Yankees in the championship series, the club lost. And then we learned that the Astros had cheated.
The Yankees, more than the other teams, never accepted it. And there, more than ever, the fans are ready since last night’s victory against Cleveland, the fans began to insult Jose Altuve at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
I chose to go there against the Astros and say the Yankees are going to the World Series after a six-game fight.
Why do the Yankees in 6?
Comparison of position players
The experienced Astros hitters have the best offense of all the teams having participated in the American divisional playoffs if we look at the numbers of the last few days.
Jose Altuve had some slumps, but guys like Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and Jeremy Pena stood up at times against Seattle.
But above all, the monster to stop will be Yordan Alvarez.
He made short work of the Mariners’ powerful pitchers and gave himself the air of Aaron Judge, but left-handed. He is really strong.
At the Yankees, this same Judge hit a home run yesterday and he will be accompanied by a Giancarlo Stanton who is in great shape.
But for the rest?
The Yankees have several injuries and guys like Andrew Benintendi and Aaron Hicks shouldn’t be playing. In fact, Hicks’ season is over.
The return of DJ LeMahieu could be good, but will he play?
But I believe that with a bigger internal fight in New York (and with Matt Carpenter who is slowly regaining the hair of the beast), the attack could resemble that of the good days of the 2022 season with the Bombardiers.
And if the club can find the right defensive formula (especially on the left side of the field), it will help them because the Astros have a well-established club on the field.
The Astros are going to be able to use whatever pitchers they want in the rotation. Right now, Justin Verlander is scheduled for tonight’s game and we can expect Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia to follow him.
For the Yankees, it will be Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes Jr. who will be, in order, on the mound.
The five games (especially yesterday’s) didn’t help the Yankees’ rotation too much, in the end. Note that if yesterday’s game had been longer by a batter, Cole would arrive in relief.
I give the Astros the advantage, but not by much.
Both during the season and during the playoffs, the two clubs have good bullpens. It was more difficult for the Yankees due to several absentees (Scott Effross, Ron Marinaccio, Michael King, Chad Green, Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton), that said.
Besides, Chapman will obviously still be absent for the Bombardiers.
So it’s guys like Wandy Peralta (who pitched in every game against Cleveland) and Clay Holmes (who’s not 100%) who need to take more. We will also see if Marinaccio will be back soon, which is possible.
The Astros are more rested and the impact of an 18 inning game no longer exists. We will give them the advantage for that, but the Bombardiers can do the job in relief.
The Astros may be rested, experienced like no other and have taken the measure of the Yankees in the regular season (the Yankees have never come to bat with the lead this season against Houston), I have the feeling that the fire that lives the formation of the Bronx to avenge everything that happened from 2017 to 2019 between the two teams is strong.
It will be an intense series, in any case. After all, if it was intense against the Guardians, it certainly will be against the Astros.
Whether it’s because of Jose Altuve’s MVP (2017) or the playoff eliminations, the Bombardiers are thirsty for revenge right now and it will show… especially during home games. And this, even if the Yankees affirm that it is a series like the others.
I have a feeling the rest will play against the Astros and the Yankees hitters will get the better of the Astros pitchers at important points in games.
Speaking of which, I see Giancarlo Stanton being the Championship Series MVP. He has 11 home runs in 23 career playoff games (all with the Yankees) and I believe he, along with Aaron Judge, will rule the roost.
Good series of championship. Great baseball awaits us.