ALCS Game 3 Preview

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BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 14: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros hits an RBI single during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Two of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on October 14, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Astros 7-5. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Start time: 5:09 pm EST

Starters: BOS Nathen Eovaldi/HOU Dallas Keuchel 

Series tied 1-1

The ALCS matchup between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros has yet to disappoint through two games. With the series tied 1-1 headed back to Houston, it’s safe to say Red Sox fans will be on the edge of their seat these next few games. Game 1 saw a battle of the aces between Chris Sale and Justin Verlander, with nearly all their runs coming from walks. Sale walked four batters in four innings, while Verlander walked four in six. Both of these pitchers had poor starts compared to what we are used to seeing from them, But the offense of the Astros was far too much for Boston to handle, and the Astros end up winning this game 7-2.

A chilly night in Boston was the scene for game 2. David Price was given the ball for the first time since his horrid start game 2 against the Yankees. Price pitched 4.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits. His opponent Gerrit Cole went 6 innings allowing 5 runs on 6 hits. Offensive production allowed Boston to seal the victory and tie the series up heading to Texas.

And here we are. Game 3 of the ALCS.

Preview

You can bet that Tuesday night is going to be a wild one in Houston. The Astros are coming off of what many would consider a successful first two games. And now, the saying “you’re not in trouble until you lose at home” has never been so true. The next three games of the ALCS will take place in Houston and if they can win all three, they will head to the World Series for the second year in a row. But Boston won’t go down easy. In game 2 the Sox saw hits from nearly everyone in the lineup Sunday night, which is a good sign considering they mustered only three hits in game 1. Both teams, however, are hoping that their all-stars can bounce back, with JD Martinez and Jose Altuve combing for a 1-8 night with 4 Ks.

The pitching matchup looks rather intriguing for both sides. On one side you have the former all-start Dallas Kuechel (HOU) pitching in his tenth postseason game, while on the other side you have Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) pitching in just his second. Both pitchers pitched very well in their game 1 starts (Kuechel 5IP 2ER/Eovaldi 7IP 1ER), so it’s safe to say this game could come down to who makes more mistakes.

Conclusion

Both of these teams need this win just as much as the other. For the Red Sox, going down 2-1 to the Astros with the series staying in Texas for another two games is not where you want to be. For the Astros, allowing the Sox to steal game three tomorrow makes it a guarantee that they will come back to Boston for games 6 and 7 if needed. If there is anything worse than playing October baseball away from home, it’s having to travel to frigid Boston, MA to do so. Both of these pitchers are capable of going very deep into games and that is going to be very important especially for the Sox. It’s no secret the Sox bullpen has been extremely shaky this postseason, and it doesn’t help that Craig Kimbrel didn’t look as sharp as he usually does in game 2.

We both know these teams can hit. We both know these starters can pitch. I think it’s simply going to come down to two separate situations for both teams. For the Red Sox, it’s staying away from their bullpen for as long as possible. For the Astros, it’s jumping on opportunities and not leaving runners stranded. They know they can hit, it’s just a matter of capitalizing on getting runs in.

Prediction:

Red Sox 4 Astros 3

Game MVP: Andrew Benintendi

The bullpen will be rather fresh. Barnes, Brasier, Kelly, and Kimbrel should all be available to pitch. Eovaldi pitched a fantastic game against one of the toughest lineups and toughest stadiums in baseball last week. Mookie Betts seems to have found his groove and the Sox lineup should be able to continue this momentum from game 2 to game 3. Does this mean the Sox are winning the series? Not yet. I think the real challenge is going to be games 4 and 5 when your bullpen is weakened. Which is the real challenge for this Boston team. I think the Red Sox will steal at least one in Houston, forcing them to travel back to Fenway for at least one more game.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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