Latest posts by Eric Urbanowicz (see all)
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One of the craziest races in sports right now is the Most Valuable Player award race in the American League. Three of the top five names will be on display in this series. Houston Astros’ third baseman Alex Bregman, Boston Red Sox’ outfielder Mookie Betts and Boston designated hitter J.D. Martinez.
The crazy thing is, on the line is a chance to collect more hardware. Whoever wins this series will carry the flag into battle for the American League in the World Series.
In the regular season, Houston beat Boston four of seven times. However, unlike in the National League regular season series between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, all but one of these games was decided by three runs or less.
Both sides feature top MVP candidates as mentioned earlier. Some of the best pitching in baseball with two former Cy Young award winners on both sides and top-tier closers in baseball as well. If both teams are on, this series could go down as one of the greatest in Major League Baseball history. However if one is off, it could be a one-sided affair.
Players to watch
Houston- Shortstop, Carlos Correa: With how good these line ups are, and your shortstop is statistically struggling at the plate in the postseason, you better hope that he’s on defensively. While the defensive prowess of Correa has been nothing short of spectacular, he’s going to need to wake up the bat in Boston. He a had a down year at the plate and it really showed when the playoffs started. Correa could be the difference maker in this series but with how hot the Red Sox bats have been, Houston will need to stand toe-to-toe with Boston and this is one of the guys who will need to earn his keep.
Boston- Starting Pitcher, David Price: Price’s woes in the post season continued in game two of the division series where the Yankees knocked him out in the second inning. In his nine years at the major league level, he’s 2-9 with a 5.28 earned run average with 68 strike outs: not very good. However, manager Alex Cora has decided to have him pitch game two of this series. With Chris Sale pitching game one and Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi most likely pitching games three and four, game two could be crucial in putting the Astros away early. Price is going to need to buckle down and avoid another disastrous performance.
Prediction: Houston Astros defeat the Boston Red Sox in five games.
Boston has better bats, Houston has better pitching and as close as it is, Houston has the advantage defensively. The Red Sox are going to need their starting pitchers to step up big time to have any sort of chance in this series. While some of the Astros’ names like Correa and outfielder George Springer struggled this year, they still have the pitching to make up for the struggling bats. With how high the Astros are flying right now, this could be bad for Boston.