Yankees vs Astros
The culmination of the American League this year comes down to a contest between the most historically decorated team in baseball, and a team that has yet to claim a single world series for themselves. Naturally in this contest, I have to go with the team that has yet to take home a title. To recap on my predictions for this last round, I did not think that the Yankees would be able to squeeze past the Indians, but with the bats of Didi Gregarious and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees powered past the Indians to take home the division championship. As for the Astros, I had predicted that they would shut down the Red Sox offense while playing consistent small ball to roll onto the next round. However, the power in the Astros lineup really stood out as Correa, Bregman, Altuve, and Springer all went downtown, especially Altuve in game 1 against Sale, who was in my opinion the Red Sox only chance of taking a game in the series. Alas, the Astros prevailed by game 4, and the Yankees did out-slug the Indians, supported by some surprising pitching from their inconsistent rotation.
As for this match up, the Astros have the upper hand. With a better record during the regular season, with more of a consistent rotation, and with somehow more power displayed in the ALDS (although the Yankees were not without this) I don’t see the Yankees putting out the fire that is the Houston Astros. These young teams have only meet in the playoffs once, that of the 2015 wild card game, which took place at Yankee Stadium, and was won by the Astros with Keuchel shutting down the Yankees for 6 innings. The Astros have also dominated the season series against the Yankees, which they capitalized in a double header forcing Severino and Tanaka to leave before 3 complete innings were thrown in either game, which may speak to the severity of the situation at hand for the Yankees. Severino had a rocky first start this post season, and although Tanaka has posted good numbers in the playoffs this year, he still has not had an outstanding season, leaving Yankees fans and management wondering as to his ability this post season.
All of this being said, the decision for me is pretty obvious. The red-hot Astros are going to continue on their way to their first World Series Championship in team history, (and no this has nothing to do with the guilt/pity of being a White Sox fan, and winning in 05’) and the Yankees are going to try their best to hang onto a couple of wins in the ALCS. However, the Yankees are young and I believe we will be seeing them make a run for it again next year, while other teams in the running are not so easily defended in their claims to dynasty.
Astros in 5 games.