Previewing 2018 American League Championship Series

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This is not only the series that was supposed to happen, this was the series everyone wanted to see. Everyone got the big rivalry series they wanted to watch, but when you see the two best squads in the American League square off against one another, that’s the series you want to see. The Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros are two 100+ win teams with Boston winning 108 and Houston winning 103 combining for 211, the most combined victories for any playoff series in history. With that being said, let’s take a look at each team.

Houston Astros

The defending World Champions will be looking to reclaim their crown of American League Champions as this squad might actually be better than the 2017 version. The numbers might suggest players like Carlos Correa or George Springer have regressed, but they are very talented and can turn things around quickly as they are some of the best in the entire league in their respective positions. Their rotation is absolutely stacked with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, and Gerrit Cole all equally deserving to be an ace for any pitching staff. The bullpen is dominant and their lineup might be the most balanced and best overall in the entire league as they can beat anyone in almost any possible way. The Astros are truly the real deal and them repeating as AL Champions is very realistic. In their ALDS matchup against the Indians, they seemed to outplay Cleveland in every facet of the game including the series clinching Game Three where they won 11-3. Cleveland was a great team, but the Astros made it seem easy which could suggest they are ready to make a return to the World Series.

Boston Red Sox

Well, a rematch now huh? The Red Sox were embarrassed last year in the American League Division Series when they played the Astros, but this time around Boston might actually have the better team. Their rotation has the likes of Chris Sale, the best pitcher in the American League, Rick Porcello, the reigning AL Cy Young award winner, and Eduardo Rodriguez, an up and coming star, and their rotation might be good enough to match Houston’s. Though their lineup might not be as balanced as the Astros’, it might be more powerful as they have J.D. Martinez, arguably the best designated hitter in baseball, Mookie Betts, a Most Valuable Player candidate, and Rafael Devers, one of the best young players in baseball. The Red Sox won the most games in baseball for a good reason in a very competitive division which saw them win the division crown over a 100-win Yankees squad which they seemed to overmatch in their division series matchup. In what was touted to be another great postseason series between the two bitter rivals, the Red Sox simply outplayed the Yankees in their ALDS series including a 16-1 drubbing at Yankee Stadium in Game Three. The Red Sox showed they might actually be the best team in the American League with a very impressive series victory against an excellent Yankees team that was also deserving to be in the ALCS.

Notes: Houston won the season series 4-3.

 

Predictions

James Rowe: Houston. I actually think this has the makings of one of the best postseason series in MLB history as I truly believe it will go seven excellent games. Both have great defenses (though I think the Astros have a slight edge), both equally awesome bullpens, and are some of the best young squads in baseball, but I think the Astros are the most complete, but slightly. It honestly could go either way, but the Astros are just that good.

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