HOUSTON – This is the Houston Astros newsletter emailed out each week by the KPRC 2 Sports team. To subscribe, visit click2houston.com/newsletters.
Hello to all of our KPRC 2 viewers over the air and of course digitally on all of our platforms! Thanks for watching! I’m KPRC 2 Sports Director Randy McIlvoy checking in this week with our Astros newsletter as we catch you up on what’s happening, and yes, there is plenty!
The Astros managed to put away the Seattle Mariners in a three game sweep this past week and all three games were tight. The opener saw Yordan Alvarez hit a walk-off homer to put away Seattle in Game 1 despite a rocky start from ace Justin Verlander. Were you there to witness Yordan’s homer? What a moment and what a scene it was inside of Minute Maid Park. Then in Game 2 Yordan homered again as the Astros went up 2-0 before closing out the Mariners Saturday in Game 3. It took 18 innings but thanks to Jeremy Pena’s home run the Astros came out victorious and punched their ticket to the ALCS.
Bring on the Yankees
Now it’s time for the ALCS round where the Astros are making their record 6th straight appearance. This run is remarkable and frankly something we just don’t see happen often and may not for a while. This Astros club, which won the 2017 World Series and lost in the 2019 and 2021 Fall Classics, has built a dynasty, don’t you think? The city of Houston and the Stros’ fanbase have been spoiled, and honestly, it’s been a blast to cover.
Now it’s another date with the New York Yankees. This marks their third head-to-head in the ALCS since 2017 and fourth battle if you include the 2015 Wild Card game won by the Astros at Yankee Stadium. That was the year this journey for Houston began and throw out 2016, they’ve been in the playoffs every fall.
ALCS Game 1
The Yankees are here after beating Cleveland in their ALDS Game 5 Tuesday afternoon to advance. New York got home runs from their big guns Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the win. These are two superpower clubs now ready to knock heads with potentially seven games in the next eight days if this ALCS goes the distance. The starting pitchers will be Justin Verlander for Houston and Jameson Taillon for the Yankees. I had the chance to cover Taillon in 2009 and 2010 when he starred at The Woodlands High School. He was a first-round pick by the Pirates in June of 2010 and has risen the ranks in the big leagues now at the age of 30. He’s 14-5 on the year and Verlander was an amazing 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA.
The Astros are the top seed and the favorites to advance, but it won’t be easy to get past New York. That said, the Yankees will need to play a near-perfect series to pull off the upset. Houston has the starting pitching and bullpen that’s the best in baseball to go with a lineup that can hurt you quickly. At times, though, they have gone silent. The Yankees lineup is suspect outside of Judge and Stanton and they really don’t have a good lead-off man or a strong bullpen.
Astros advance IF: Pitching keeps dominating, Altuve gets his stroke back, Bregman, Tucker and Yordan produce and, of course, play solid defense. They’ve done it all season.
Yankees advance IF: They can split in Houston, keep Altuve chasing at the plate, and don’t let Alvarez/Tucker/Bregman beat them.
My prediction: Astros win ALCS in six games.
See you at Minute Maid Park and be sure to watch our coverage on KPRC2, KPRC-2+ for our LIVE pregame shows (Wed 5:30 p.m.) and online at Click2Houston.com!