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Astros slaughter Blue Jays, 19-1

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The Astros scored 19 runs in a game for the first time in nearly two years, beating the Blue Jays 19-1 on Sunday afternoon. For the Jays, it’s their most lopsided loss since falling 23-1 to the Orioles on September 28, 2000.

The 2-3-4 spots in the Astros’ lineup — Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Evan Gattis — combined to go 9-for-14 with four walks, a double, four home runs, 12 RBI, and nine runs scored. Correa had two home runs, giving him 20 on the season heading into the All-Star break. Altuve is now hitting .347/.417/.551.

The Astros head into the break having scored 527 runs, by far the most in baseball. The Nationals are second at 483 as of this writing. Sunday’s 19-1 win gives the Astros a  +162 run differential, also now the best in baseball. The Dodgers entered Sunday at +160. At +162 over 89 games, the Astros are on pace to finish at +295, which would set a franchise record. The 1998 Astros, who went 102-60, had a +254 run differential. With a 60-29 record, the Astros are on pace to win 109 games. Not too shabby.

Cody Bellinger named NLCS MVP

Cody Bellinger
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Following a dominant 5-1 win to clinch the National League Championship Series on Saturday night, the Dodgers named outfielder Cody Bellinger their MVP of the series.

Bellinger, 23, made noise when it mattered. Entering Saturday’s game, he carried a meager .190/.227/.238 batting line with just four hits and two RBI, but his hits in Games 4 and 7 became the difference-makers the Dodgers needed to keep pace with the Brewers and clinch the NL pennant. In Game 4, it was Bellinger’s 13th-inning base hit off of Junior Guerra that put the Dodgers over the top for the walk-off 2-1 win. The outfielder returned to put the finishing touches on the series with a go-ahead home run — his first of the postseason — in the second inning of Game 7.

Bellinger wrapped his second season in the Dodgers’ organization in 2018, slashing .260/.343/.470 with 25 home runs, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR across 632 PA and all 162 games. He’s the youngest Dodgers player to receive the award to date.