We’re going in a slightly different direction with the blog today – this post will be shorter and less analytical than most. I woke up this morning with the intention of doing an exhaustive preview of the ALCS, but there really isn’t anything about Houston or the Yankees that we don’t already know. At this point in the season, it really comes down to just watching and enjoying it. And I think something that we all can agree on is that this is going to be fun.
So in place of the usual analysis, here are some quick thoughts, in no particular order:
I think, if such a thing is even possible, many folks are underrating the Yankees. This is a team that, while playing in a tough division, won 103 games with essentially both hands behind their back. And that was then…
Now? This team is a fully operational locked and loaded Death Star. For crying out loud, Gary Sanchez hit 100 HR in fewer games than anyone in American League history and he’s like the 8th best hitter on the team – 9th if Hicks plays. Yes, seven games is a sneeze in baseball terms so it’s possible there may be few fireworks. But this team is in full savage mode – don’t be surprised if even Houston can’t handle it.
This still may come down to what I said in July: Jeff Luhnow made the Astros better at the deadline and Cashman did not improve the Yankees. That still may be the difference between these two teams and how their 2019 stories are eventually written. Being happy to miss Verlander and Cole in game one so you can face…(checks notes…) Zack Greinke…?!?! Come the eff on…that is no joke. And if that does turn out to be the difference between these two teams, I’ll make it my life’s mission to antagonize everyone who thinks Cashman is anything better than average at best at his job.
Reminder: This series (like all playoff series) isn’t about who the best team is – it’s about fun. It’s fun to watch when two great teams play with a lot on the line. But the question of who wins is still not much different than the result of a coin flip. Every team in baseball has won 4 out of 7 at some point this season. Every team in baseball has lost 4 out of 7 at some point this season. The team with the better record and home-field advantage only wins the series about 55% of the time (if I remember correctly – check Rob Mains’ great work over at Baseball Prospectus to fact check me if you want). So as crazy as it may sound, don’t put too much stock in the result either way, just enjoy the show.
My prediction: Yanks in 6.
Did I miss something? Let me know…
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