-The Red Sox were 68-30 prior to the All-Star Break (.694) and 40-24 (.625) after.
-Boston was 8-5 in extra-inning games.
-Boston was 25-14 in 1-run games.
-The only month in which they won fewer than 62% of their games was September, when they went 15-11 (.577)
-The Red Sox took advantage of their weak-ass division, going 31-7 against the Blue Jays and Orioles.
-They went 21-2 against the Royals, Angels, Marlins, and Rangers.
-Boston was 16-4 in Interleague play which, for them, meant the NL East.
-So we know they're really good at beating bad teams, that's cool.
FanGraphs: Astros 53.3 - Red Sox 46.7
FiveThirtyEight: Astros 51 - Red Sox 49
That said, FiveThirtyEight gives the Red Sox a 56-44 advantage in Game 1.
Bovada has the Astros as favorites at -155.
*Verlander goes G1, Cole goes G2. Verlander goes against Chris "Kale Smoothie" Sale. Cole goes against Mr. May David Price. At the outset of the 2017 ALDS I wrote about Verlander v. Sale. Maybe go and read that now and also understand that over a year has passed since I hit Publish.
When you look down my card, I'm like, 'Man, I've got something for everybody in different areas of the game. It's comfortable. These games aren't comfortable, but it's a comfortable feeling knowing I've got a couple cards to play when the time matters the most.
*One of the things that worries me about the 2018 ALCS is how much does Alex Cora know about the Astros. What's his and Hinch's relationship? Hinch:
He knows a lot about how we operate, but these are two completely different seasons. We played each other seven times this year. I don't look at it any further than that. I know him well. He knows me well. Strategically, this is a completely different season.
*Check Tags' notebook:
-12 pitchers / 13 position players in the ALCS
*Jayson Stark took a look at the differences between the 2017 100-win/World Series-winning Astros and 2018 100-win Houston Astros. It's...illuminating. If the 2017 offense just happened to show up in the next two weeks...MY DUDE...
*Rustin Dodd: From 2013 33rd Round pick to Astros County-folk-hero to probable 2018 ALCS DH, Tyler White has proved every doubter wrong. White:
I just play every game like it could be your last. Because you never know.
*Carlos Correa told the Associated Press' Kristie Rieken that his back is absolutely killing him. Correa:
Not only to find my swing, just to feel comfortable at the plate when I swing. Because I know every time I swing and miss it's going to hurt. So, I try not to swing and miss and then I try to baby my swing and I don't swing as hard as I usually do or as quick as I usually do. So, it's definitely been tough.
*Jerome Solomon: Charlie Morton could be the key to the ALCS.
*FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan: The Astros gave the Indians an all-time beating.
*Ryan Pressly confronted an Indians fan trash-talking Roberto Osuna. And TMZ has video.
*You need this "Not that special" shirt starring Alex Bregman. We need more Taunting Clothes.
*Hey whaddayaknow: Will Leitch says that the Astros winning the World Series is the Astros' best franchise postseason moment. Shocking.
*Forrest Whitley got on one, striking out the first seven batters he faced in the Arizona Fall League. Former Astros Great Daz Cameron broke up his Perfect Game with a single in the 4th.
*Michael Kay is a got dang moron:
.@RealMichaelKay: An over-reliance on analytics likely cost the Yankees in the ALDS. pic.twitter.com/P4EiF004FR— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 10, 2018
*Yasiel Puig guaranteed a Dodgers NL Pennant.
*A musical selection: