Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thursday Morning Hot Links

It's Astros Playoff Eve!

*It's Yankees/Red Sox in the ALDS, so that automatically relegates everyone else to the Morning Slot for playoff games so that ESPN/TBS/TruTV/Whoever The Hell can do a six-hour pre-game buildup. Astros County Guarantee: Luke Voit will be the one everyone hates the most by the end of the weekend.

*'s (and Indians beat-writer) Anthony Castrovince has a position-by-position breakdown of the Astros/Indians series. If you want to find something to argue about - because that's so hard when you're #online now - start your day here.

*Game 1: Verlander vs. Kluber.
Game 2: Cole vs. Carrasco
Game 3: Keuchel vs. Clevinger

*Despite not playing any games since I last did this on Tuesday, the Astros' 58-42 edge from FanGraphs has now dropped to 50.8-49.2. Who knew four days off could swing momentum in such a huge way?

Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight gives the Astros a 63-37 edge in making the ALCS. They're giving the Astros a 65-35 shot at winning Game 1. Wait. The Astros went to a Drake concert? Make that 90-10 in favor of Cleveland. Cleveland in Two.

*Terry Francona:
The one thing that I think they've really done for the last couple years is they play until it's time to go home. Sometimes you'll beat them, but they might just have to run out of outs. They keep coming at you. You've got to pay attention to detail, but they're fun to play because they've got so many good players, so many good pitchers. 

*The Astros bullpen is now a strength.

*Chandler Rome describes "agonizing decisions" in who to leave off the playoff roster. Personally, I'd go with Bregman over Bogar.

*The reason you couldn't get tickets to any playoff games is because the Astros sent them all to a lady in Spring Branch.

*Two dudes who are Well Known for their reasonable takes and astute baseball knowledge - Chris Broussard and Rob Parker - talked to Alex Bregman about the possibility of a repeat.

*Boston Globe: Alex Cora borrowed from the Astros' model.

*Jake Kaplan notes that Tony Sipp, Joe Smith, and Hector Rondon all spent significant time with the Indians' organization.

*AL West Playoff Wins since Houston joined the American League:
-Houston: 14
-Arlington: 2
-Oakland: 2
-Anaheim: 0
-Seattle: 0

*From Andy McCullough: An inside look at 2017 World Series Game 5 - How a championship slipped away from the Dodgers.

*A musical selection. Peep Midlake's Eric Pulido's Astros hat: