The ALCS pits the two best teams in MLB against one another. The New York Yankees ventured into enemy territory in Houston to take on the Astros. Teams of this caliber will push each other to the limits. So we examine some takeaways from Games one and two of the American League Championship Series.
Houston Starters Are Human
The most significant discussion point in the ALCS conversation was about the Astros starting pitching. The three-headed Astros monster would show vulnerability in the starts by Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for the Yankees this afternoon and has been the Astros best pitcher all season. (Cole will likely win the 2019 AL Cy Young.) If the Yankees can maintain a healthy and patient approach at the plate, they can get to Gerrit Cole the same way.
A Good Defense is the Best Offense
One major takeaway from the series thus far is that both teams are evenly matched. Houston has the better starting rotation and the Yankees the better bullpen. Offensively, both teams are pretty equal. And both sides play excellent defense. We have seen plays from players like Alex Bregman and Gio Urshela at the hot corner that capture the highlight reels. But overall it’s the heads up plays on the defensive end that turn the tides. From Aaron Judge’s double play in Game one to Carlos Correa’s ricochet retrieval and home plate throw out, heads up defense makes a huge difference.
The Bronx is Burning
It’s no secret that New York is a different kind of place. The city, the atmosphere, the overall hectic nature of a major metropolitan area. And living/residing there takes a particular type of person. Even more so, when you are an athlete in a place like New York, the pressure is on to succeed. And even more so when you were the Navy Blue Pinstripes. But the Yankees thrive in this environment. Since 2016, the Yankees have a home record of 209-115 (.645). And though the Yankees are right-handed heavy, they are built perfectly for the Stadium. As well as having the red hot crowd in the Bronx backing them up.