Houston enters the playoffs as clearly one of the favorites to bring home its first title in team history. If the series shifts to a fifth game, Houston could prevail at home.
Boston has had its struggles as of late, but don't be fooled. He missed the postseason a year ago and Cleveland's dramatic run to the World Series after undergoing right shoulder surgery. Crane says the patches on team uniforms that say "Houston Strong" gives the team a little extra motivation.
With 168 home runs during the regular season, Boston finished 27 out of 30 Major League teams, 40 less than the 2016 squad. In fact, Houston was just 21-24 against southpaws.
The series heads back to New England for game three. What's more, besides Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox's rotation hasn't been very impressive this year.
Farrell had been planning on using Ramirez as the first baseman against left-hander Dallas Keuchel in Game 2. Not many teams get to someone as good as Boston's Chris Sale, but the Astros did early and often as they piled on the runs.
In my mind the most probable starter for Game 3 would have been Rick Porcello, last year's Cy Young Award victor. Another southpaw option would be Eduardo Rodriguez (6-7, 4.19).
"I definitely think there is some value in it", Verlander said of his postseason experience - including two starts in the 2006 World Series.
Josh Reddick also tallied two hits and two runs scored. Justin Verlander has started sixteen postseason games. And sure, they hit about 1.5 HR's per game, where the Sox barely averaged 1. He's in a great situation with all of the depth that this roster has and I'm positive that he'll make a solid decision in regard to what to do with the roster. Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00) appears set for Game 3 while Lance McCullers Jr.
It's no secret how tough Houston's lineup has been all year.
It will be interesting to see how Sale performs under the bright lights of the playoffs.
One key weakness for the Red Sox this season has been the lack of home run production, going counter to the general trend of increasing home runs found elsewhere in the majors. The Astros will likely go with either Collin McHugh or Brad Peacock for game three with the other being slated for game four unless that becomes a must-win game, with Verlander likely to return for a game five. Over is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings.
Altuve crushing the Red Sox is nothing new.
However, as the AL Division Series begins on Thursday, Pedroia insisted that he never anxious he would not be able to play during the postseason for a team that always believed it would reach the playoffs. Altuve is just one incredible player, and after today's performance, how can he not be considered the leader for the MVP of the American League? But that's still a long ways away.
If there's any team that has a chance to come back, it's the Red Sox, though, as in 2017 there's never been a final inning in which they didn't at least threaten. "They got to see me; I got to see them".