The New York Yankees defied the odds and took down the World Series favorites in the ALDS, winning Game 5 on the road. Both the Yankees and Houston Astros are advancing to the American League Championship Series and each clinched away from their home fans. The Astros notched their ticket a couple days before the Yankees, winning in four. Unlike New York, Houston was favored to that that series given their 100-win season and superior starting pitching. That turned out to be the difference in the ALDS, now we’ll get to see two powerhouse offenses advance with an interesting battle between a superior rotation versus a superior bullpen. Which will come out ahead?
Game 1 - Astros 8, Red Sox 2
Game 2 - Astros 8, Red Sox 2
Game 3 - Red Sox 10, Astros 3
Game 4 - Astros 5, Red Sox 4
The Red Sox made it a game longer than they did a season ago, but ultimately fell in the ALDS for the second consecutive season as most bettors expected. After a couple rough games in Houston, Boston showed some fight in Game 3 at Fenway. It looked like the Sox might be able to send the series back to Houston heading into the eighth of Game 4, too, but then the Astros got to Chris Sale. Sale looked better in Game 4 than he did in Game 1, but he still took the loss, going 0-2 in his postseason debut. Given how well—and deep—he threw, it makes you wonder why he didn’t get the start over Rick Porcello.
Boston’s offense came to life in Fenway, plating 14 runs, but was quiet away from home. The starting pitching was a disappointment in both places. The bullpen came through to shut down Houston after Doug Fister’s short start in Game 3. Sale went the deepest in his start, but lasted just five innings. Porcello made it through three in Game 4 which was the second longest Red Sox start of the series.
Houston got much better pitching form the top of its rotation with Justin Verlander following up a solid Game 1 with a 2.2 inning relief appearance for Houston in Game 4 as skipper A.J. Hinch went for the win, hoping to avoid a Game 5. It worked even after Verlander gave up a home run—and the lead—to the first batter he faced.
In the end, the Houston offense was just too strong. The Astros won and the Red Sox went home after the ALDS for the second straight year. That was enough to cost John Ferrell his job. In any case, you know a lineup is stacked with Brian McCann is batting ninth most of the series. Their power bats now get set for the ALCS where Verlander will be well rested.
Game 1 - Indians 4, Yankees 0
Game 2 - Indians 9, Yankees 8 (13)
Game 3 - Yankees 1, Indians 0
Game 4 - Yankees 7, Indians 3
*Game 5 - Yankees 5, Indians 2
This series shifted to New York with the Yankee down by two games and their backs against the wall. The Bronx Bombers came out fighting. They won three straight elimination games and now find themselves going to the ALCS. New York has already been in four win-or-go-home contests and they’ve won all four.
In this series, the Yankees started slow. Trevor Bauer shut them down in Game 1 as the team was getting over the Wild Card game hangover. The offense did enough in Game 2, but eventually Cleveland got the better in that battle of the bullpens, winning in 13-innings and seemingly starting to close the door on the Yankees chances of an unlikely run.
Well, that unlikely run happened. Masahiro Tanaka completely shut down the Indians after Joe Girardi gave him the Game 3 start to keep him at home where he’s dominated all year. From there, the pitching took over. New York allowed five total runs in the final three games. The Yankees’ bullpen continued to shut down the Indians, but Tanaka, Luis Severino and C.C. Sabathia did their parts as well.
On offense, the Yankees had the power, getting key home runs when they needed them and other hits along the way. The Indians’ offense dried up after the series shifted to New York. The loss of Edwin Encarnacion in Game 2 was big. He did come back for Game 5, but was limited.
When the series ended, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion—the top four hitters in the order—were a collective 8-for-66. That’s not going to get it done.
Meanwhile, the Yankees got the job done despite nothing from Aaron Judge who hit .050 for the series. Didi Gregorius did the job in Game 5 while Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird have good series as key pieces to the offense.
In the end, the Yankees shocked the world, beating the World Series favorites and making their bettors a lot of money on the way. New York is embracing this underdog position. Next up: the Houston Astros.
The Major League Baseball season is down to it’s Final Four.
The American League Championship Series pits two teams with fan bases starved for October baseball and with five teams considered as legitimate contenders, there really is no telling as to who will reign over the National League. It’s anybody’s game. Continue
Betting on the MLB regular season is one thing, but for some of the most thrilling and potentially lucrative baseball betting you have to follow the MLB playoff series. When the best teams from each division reach the playoff stage of the season.
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