Saturday, October 6, 2018

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros have now taken a 1-0 lead in the ALDS over Cleveland after yesterday's 7-2 win. The A's were off, so they're now 6.5 GB of the Astros. Oh wait.

*With a Game 1 win, the Astros are now given a 76% chance of making the ALCS, according to FiveThirtyEight who has a long history of accurately predicting outcomes. AL Pennant Odds, according to FiveThirtyEight:
Houston: 41%
Boston: 29%
New York: 21%
Cleveland: 10%

FanGraphs has the Astros at 65.8% to win the ALDS. FanGraphs' AL Pennant Odds:
Houston: 35%
Boston: 29.3%
New York: 16.8%
Cleveland: 18.8%

The last team to lose a Division Series after winning Game 1 was the 2017 Cleveland Indians. Last time before that was the 2015 Astros. Sad face. And the 2015 Ramgers. Happy face. (Three of the four Division Series in 2015 featured a Game 1 winner that ultimately lost the series). Overall, 23 out of 32 Game 1 winners (71.9%) since 2010 went on to win the Division Series.

*Houston recorded 12 hits, their 9th 10+ hit game in the postseason since the beginning of 2017.

*Springer, Bregman, White, and Reddick all had two hits each. The Astros hit four home runs: Springer, Bregman, Altuve, and Machete. George Springer has now hit a home run in five consecutive playoff games dating to last postseason, joining 2004 Carlos Beltran and 2015 Daniel Murphy.

*Bregman's homer left his bat at 107.1mph, the highest of his career.

The guys did a really good job of having a good at-bat and letting the next guy have a good at-bat. Obviously, we had some explosive at-bats with the home runs.

Everybody did something to help this team win today.

*The last time Corey Kluber allowed three home runs in a game: April 3, 2017. He has pitched in 210 games (postseason included) and allowed 3+ HR six times.

Corey Kluber's last four postseason games: 15IP, 22H/17ER, 12K:5BB, 9HR. 10.20 ERA / 1.80 WHIP.

*A list of pitchers off of whom Alex Bregman has hit a postseason home run:
-Chris Sale (x2)
-Clayton Kershaw
-Kenley Jansen
-Corey Kluber

*Hunter Atkins: The Astros rattled Corey Kluber.

*Josh Reddick had 2RBI. His last 2+ RBI game: August 4. Reddick, on his role in the lineup:
Last postseason, I think I got caught up in trying to be in the spotlight with these guys and try to hit the long ball. In reality, I'm the eight-hole, I'm not here to drive in runs - ironic today - but I'm not there to drive the long ball. I'm there to get on for those guys at the top of the lineup.

*The only Astro to go hitless was Carlos Correa, who was actually unlucky - hit the ball hard a couple of times, had a flare hang up a little and allow whatever Clevelander to run under it.

*I legitimately hate Tyler Bauer. Like, a Julian Tavarez-level of hatred. So wow what a shame that Tyler Bauer gave up two hits that lead to runs, including one from Alex Big Nutz Bregman:

As much as I've heard different opinions about our offense, it's pretty long, it's pretty good, it's pretty potent. Case in point today.

Insert your own "that's what she said" here.

*Justin Verlander went 5.1IP, 2H/2ER, 7K:2BB. Both earned runs came courtesy of Ryan Pressly, making his postseason debut. He spiked his first pitch, allowing a run to score, and then got a groundout to Gurriel, playing deep, allowing the 2nd run. Verlander:
I think you want to set a tone. You want to allow your team to go out there and kind of of put up a couple runs and just relax. I was able to do that early in the game. First five innings was right where I wanted to be against a team that's kind of given me fits. 

And to that, yesterday was Verlander's first win vs. Cleveland since May 2, 2017. Verlander has a sub-.500 record vs two American League teams: Toronto (3-6, .333), and Cleveland (20-24, .455).

It was Verlander's 23rd career postseason start. He has allowed Two or Fewer Earned Runs in 14 of them. Six of those have come with Houston.It's his 11th postseason start with a Game Score over 60. Four of those have been with Houston. I think he might like it with Us.

Verlander is now 12-6 in the postseason. Most postseason wins, MLB history:
1. Andy Pettitte: 19
2. John Smoltz: 15
3. Tom Glavine: 14
4. Roger Clemens: 12
4. Justin Verlander: 12

Jayson Stark in The Athletic on the lessons of Justin Verlander.

*The Astros threw 150 pitches to the Indians. Houston threw 150+ pitches in a game 59 times in the 2018 regular season and went 27-32.

*Anthony Castrovince on the different decisions by Francona and Hinch in pulling their starters.

*Meet the Astros fan who said he'd buy the entire section beer if Springer homered, then Springer did, and he did.

*NY Post's Kevin Kernan: Astros made it clear who the best team in baseball is.

*Hector Rondon was "very upset" that he was left off the ALDS roster and subsequently did not go on to the field for "reserve" introductions or the National Anthem. He could find his way on to the ALCS roster, should it come to that.

*Brian McCann will see a diminished role this postseason, as opposed to last season when he caught all but one inning of the Astros' postseason. Hinch:
It's a different setup for him this year than last year. I expect him to catch Game 3 with Dallas, potentially close out some games as a catcher for us. If I end up needed to run or hit for Martin, then B-Mac is more than capable of coming in and finishing the game.

*From The Athletic's Rustin Dodd: How Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros are the perfect marriage. Cole:
You're not asked to conform to a system. You're asked to use the system to make yourself better. So, from an analytic standpoint, from a scouting report standpoint, from teammates and instructors, there's just a high level of quality here that's ahead of quite a bit of other teams.

*FanGraphs: There's no reason to think Gerrit Cole can't repeat his 2018 in 2019.

*All-around Good Dude Francisco Lindor thanked Jim Crane for helping Puerto Rico.

*Chloe now has to go to every game this postseason

*A musical selection: