MLB Playoffs 2020 – Rays-Astro ALCS clash between top seed and defending AL Chams –

MLB Playoffs 2020 – Rays-Astro ALCS clash between top seed and defending AL Chams

We have gotten used to seeing Houston Astro in the American League Championship Series. Tampa Bay Rays? Not so much.

The Astros broke their way to their fourth straight ALCS, the longest streak since the Yankees 1998–2001. Houston scored 33 runs and 12 home runs in their four-match Division Series A. Carlos Correa has led this postman to a resurgent Astros offense with four saves, 12 RBIs, -500 average and 1.715 OPS in six games.

The Rays are making the second ALCS appearance in franchise history; He defeated the Red Sox in seven matches in 2008 before losing to the Phillies in the World Series. AL’s top seed, the Rays are solid in all aspects of the game with a surprisingly deep lineup, steady starting pitchers and power arms in bullpen.

Obstacles say…

The Rays have a 63.3% chance of winning the series. (Estimates from ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle)

How did they get here

Rays: Driven by a key pitching staff featuring three potential aces at Blake Snell, Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasgow, Tampa Bay competed with the AL East race and edged Oakland for the league’s best mark. Brandon Lowe was the only true offensive standout in a lineup to finish 12th in the Major scoring 289 and producing a team OPS of .753.

Wild-Card Series: Beat toronto 2–0.

AL Category Series: Beat new york 3-2

Astros: Despite finishing the regular season with a 29–31 record, the Astros earned an automatic playoff berth by finishing second in the American League West. Surrounded by injuries during the year, the offense scored 279 in 14th place in the Razors and MLB’s 13th-best ERA in the pitching staff at 4.31.

Wild-Card Series: Beat Minnesota 2–0.

AL Category Series: Beat oakland 3–1

Series schedule

In san diego

Game 1: Sunday, October 11, TBS
Game 2: Monday, October 12, TBS
Game 3: Tuesday, October 13, TBS
Game 4: Wednesday, October 14, TBS
Game 5: Thursday, October 15, TBS (if necessary)
Game 6: Friday, October 16, TBS (if necessary)
Game 7: Saturday, October 17, TBS (if necessary)

Ray will win the series for three reasons

1. They have been the best team in all seasons of the American League

The Rays went 40-20, dominating the Blue Jays and overtaking the tough Yankees. He probably has no superstars, but his 28-man roster is the deepest in the AL and becomes even more important in a seven-match series with no off-days in the first two rounds. If they use all five they have five quality starting pitchers (rookie Josh Fleming is the No. 5 starter and he went 5–0 with a 2.78 ERA). A week ago, no one had heard of Pete Fairbanks and he exited the bullpen firing 100 mph at the top of the strike zone. A week ago, no one had heard of Randy Azarnena and now he is one of the stars of October.

Most importantly, this is a team that knows it can win. It buys all bizarre aspects such as the Rays like the opener or the four-man defensive alignment in the outfield or all of Plato. They can have the distinction of being the Little Engine. They are a good defensive team, they can score home runs and they can even surprise you with a stolen base.

2. Randy Azarnenna, the best player on the planet

Talking of a rookie outfielder, if we nitpick the Rays, it would be that no player in the lineup really scares you. Brandon Lowe was the best hitter in the regular season and is definitely the lesser. With a .269 / .362 / .554 line and 14 home runs, but he is also a good strike-prone guy and has been lethargic. Enter Azorna acquired from the Cardinals in the offseason. The 25-year-old Cuban tested positive for COVID-19, so he did not play until 30 August. He then scored seven home runs for 59 runs in September. Right now, you can’t get a fastball from him: in fact, nine of his 10 home runs have come against fastballs (seven) or sinkers (two).

3. They coincide with Astro

With a lineup with only three leftists in Michael Brantley, Kyle Tucker and Josh Reddyk, the Astros batted with a platoon advantage for just 43.2% of the time in the regular season, the lowest among the Majors. Yes, three of the five Tampa Bay’s are lefties (Snell, Ryan Yarbrowz and Fleming), but they have a stack of righties to go after all those right-handed Houston batsmen. Rights hit, including playoffs .197 from Glasgow, but see bullpen numbers: .114 vs. Nick Anderson, .159 vs. Diego Castillo, .208 vs. Aaron Sellers, .224 vs. Fairbanks, .252 vs. John. Curtis Cedarmar Ryan Thompson was actually the least dominant of the group, allowing a .276 average, but has relied on high-leverage situations in the postseason (and as an opener in the Yarbro and / or Fleming games) May serve). And then on offense, the Rays can go with their right-handed lineup against Framber Valdez and with their left-handed lineup against right-starters, available to counter Dusty Baker’s bullpen moves.

There will be three reasons for winning the Astro Series

1. Crime is back

The 2019 Astro, according to the Advanced Metric Weighted Run (adjusted for Parks and Ages), was the second best offense of all time, behind only the famous 1927 Yankees. In 2020, Astro ranked 17th … among the majors. It was a slump with many possible explanations, but Astro crushed a very good Oakland pitching staff in four games in the Division Series, hitting .332 / .388 / .594 with 12 home runs. Carlos Correa has been shut out in four playoff games with four home runs and 12 RBIs, but perhaps the best sign Jose Altuve (two home runs, .429 OBP) looks much better after a miserable regular season.

The four games are not necessarily Astro suddenly changing everything, but it certainly resembles the lineup we saw in 2019 (in injured Yordan Alvarez). Keep this in mind as well: Even when they struggled multiple times in the regular season, the Astras majors had the lowest strike rate among them. You have to earn your outs against Houston.

“It’s just our normal offense,” Kyle Tucker said after beating A. “We didn’t show too much of it during the season, but this lineup can do it every night. This lineup 1 through 9 could produce any time and we were doing this whole series.”

2. Framber Valdez is pitching like an ace

The 26-year-old leftie made his debut in the majors in 2018 and was an interesting prospect, but in 2018 and 2019, more than 100 innings in big innings, mostly pitching in relief, he struggled to command the strike zone, averaging 5.7 runs per game. Is nine per Posting innings and 4.60 ERA. He was quietly a very good regular season, going 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA, just 2.0 walks per nine, and an even better 2.85 FIP. In two playoff walks – a five-inning shutdown relief appearance against the Twins and a Game 1 victory over the A’s – he gave up two runs and seven hits on 12 hits.

Valdez’s Karball is his best pitch, as the batsmen have made .124 against it in the regular season and .111 so far in the postseason, and he will throw it by any count. He gave two home runs in his debut against the A’s, but even though he leaves very tough contact, it is usually on the ground with a 60% ground ball rate. He is good, and right now he is pitching with a high level of confidence.

3. Enoli Paredes, Pop-up Reliever

It seems that every postson, eventual World Series champion has someone who wakes up in October and becomes a big part of the bullpen. For the nationals last year, it was veteran Daniel Hudson, acquired in a trade that had four saves and the final three outs of Game 7 of the World Series. For the Red Sox in 2018, there was Joe Kelly, who had a 4.39 ERA in the regular season and then lights in the postseason, including six scoreless innings in the World Series. For the Astros, it could just be the rogue parade, who played three perfect innings in two innings against the A’s.

The Houston bullpen had a few issues, particularly early in the season when it had nine rogue relievers. Even now, the depth is certainly questionable. Steps Paredes, who had a 3.05 ERA in 20ings innings, but relied primarily on a 96 mph fastball and a slider, gave up just one home run, (76% of the time in his two out overs against Oakland) Fastball thrown). Paredes pitched in Class A and Double-A last year, giving only 50 hits in 94 innings with 128 strikes, so there’s some big stuff here. With the possibility of having seven games in seven days, Dusty Baker will not necessarily be able to use his start the way he did the first two rounds, so look for a number of important innings in between for the Paredes to close the game.


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