The ALDS is already going with the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians jumping out to 1-0 leads in their respective series. But things kick into another gear today as all 8 teams will be in action. We’ve got a lot of baseball to watch today. So here’s a primer on what you should be paying attention to in each series.
Who will win the battle of the perpetual MVP versus the perpetual Cy Young?
The perpetual MVP candidate in Paul Goldschmidt will be up against the perpetual Cy Young candidate in Clayton Kershaw.
Goldschmidt has 3 homeruns through 5 postseason games. With 2 of those coming in his rookie campaign in a NLDS loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. And the other coming in the NL Wildcard game this season.
Clayton Kershaw who basically has the NL Cy Young locked up after Opening Day each season has had a mediocre playoff career. He has a career postseason win-loss of 4-7. Thanks in part to his 0-4 record against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kershaw has held Goldschmidt to a .227 AVG and 4 extra base hits in 44 career at-bats so it would look that he has the edge. But this will be their first playoff matchup.
Can the Cubs follow up last year’s run? Or will the Nationals make their first World Series appearance?
The Cubs were able to rid themselves of their 108 year World Series drought last season. The Nationals are looking to make their first World Series appearance.
They’re battling the curse of Pete Kozma. Which seems to be very much in place still as Nationals ace Max Scherzer might not be available until Game 3. At the earliest.
In a postseason that has been relatively easy on the injury front this could be a huge break for the Cubs. They struggled to separate themselves from the pack of the NL Central until the final month of the season. Their rotation hasn’t been as good as last year. But Strasburg and Gonzalez isn’t as tough as Scherzer and Strasburg.
Can the Yankees Baby Bombers do damage against the the Indians?
If Game 1 is any indication, the answer is no. Not only did the Yankees only manage 3 hits with 2 coming from Starlin Castro, but the Indians started Trevor Bauer in Game 1. That means they get to deal with Corey Kluber down 0-1 in Game 2. Kluber could very well add a MVP to his 2nd Cy Young this year.
The Yankees will need to keep the Indians within striking distance of an Aaron Judge homer. If the Yankees can make it to the 6 or 7th with a lead they’ll be hard to score against.
Edit: Why did no one tell me I typed “Baby Boomers”?
Can the Red Sox hold down Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa
In Game 1 the Red Sox struggled with Jose Altuve who became the first 2B to hit 3 homers in a playoff game since Adam Kennedy. That may have made some MVP voters regret not filling in his name. Boston did keep Carlos Correa, who batted .315 on the season, to 0 for 4. But the Astros still put up 8. There’s a reason they scored the most runs in baseball.
Meanwhile the Red Sox look to use David Price as a more expensive version of Andrew Miller in the postseason. The rotation is going to have to find a way to keep it close until he can get in the game. Chris Sale failed at that in Game 1 which leaves it up to