Just like their counterparts in the National League, the Astros and Red Sox held serve in their playoff home openers, the former winning handily, the latter jumping to an early lead and holding on. Today they’ll try to match the Brewers and the Dodgers in taking commanding 2-0 leads in their best-of-five series.
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ALDS Game 1
The Astros brought out their boomsticks yesterday, hitting four homers en route to an easy victory. It’ll be up to Carlos Carrasco to keep them in the park today. For what it’s worth he’s pretty good at that, having allowed only 21 home runs this season, which is near the bottom of the home runs allowed list among qualified pitchers. Gerrit Cole, though, allowed even fewer than Carrasco while pitching more innings, so it’s not like that makes for a huge advantage in longball prevention for the Tribe. Just throwin’ that out there, OK?
This will be Carrasco’s second postseason start. Last year he pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Yankees. The Indians lost that game, 1-0. Theory: you need offense to win. It’s Cole’s fourth postseason start, but the others came several years ago with Pittsburgh. He’s no mystery, though: he’s going to throw a lot of fastballs 97 miles per hour and strike out a lot of guys. He’s not much of a respite after seeing Justin Verlander yesterday.
ALDS Game 1
You may have heard, oh, about 500 times that David Price has something to prove in the postseason. It’s something we’d hear far less of if he didn’t play in Boston, but it’s not one of those something-out-of-nothing things that the East Coast media likes to harp on. There’s something notable about him being 0-8 with a 5.84 ERA as a postseason starter. Maybe more so with Price than anyone given that, in the past, he has not exactly shown himself to be immune to criticism and the perception that he has disappointed. If there is any elite pitcher who is self-conscious of his past shortcomings I’d guess it to be Price. Even if, as he said yesterday, he’s thinking of this as “just another game.” Worth noting too that, against the Yankees this season, Price is 0-3 with a 10.34 ERA in four starts. So yeah, I’d say he has something to prove.
Historically Tanaka has pitched well against Boston, but just like the Yankees have handled Price in 2018, the Sox have handled Tanaka: he’s got anERA of 7.58 in four starts against Boston, having allowed six home runs in 19 innings.
The Yankees will almost certainly be without Aaron Hicks, who left Game 1 with hamstring troubles last night.