Both LCS now Set; Brewers-Dodgers, Astros-Red Sox

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Wednesday, Oct. 10. With the Red Sox’ 4-3 win over the Yankees last night, both League Championship series matchups have been decided. Friday night, the Dodgers will face the Brewers in game 1 of their best of 7 series. Saturday night, the Astros will take on the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
My biggest surprise was that the Braves didn’t last longer than they did. They were the only NL team to win their division outright. They didn’t have to win an extra game as the Dodgers and Brewers did. That small advantage didn’t help the Braves, as they didn’t score a run in either of their two losses in Los Angeles. Meantime the Rockies had nothing left after their 13-inning win over the Cubs in the NL wild card game. The Indians gave an embarrassing account of themselves, not winning a game against Houston. And while Red Sox nation will gloat all next winter over their 16–1 win on Monday in game 3 of their series with the Yankees, it can’t be denied that the Bronx Bombers lost game 1 and last night’s fourth and final game by a run each.
Red Sox fans will conveniently forget that Gary Sanchez’ scoring fly ball with the bases full last night was hit just a bit too high to be a game-winning extra-base hit. They won’t bother themselves to notice how few injuries the Red Sox had, and how relatively minor those few were. None of their starting pitchers needed Tommy John surgery, as the Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery did. The Sox’ J.D. Martinez didn’t lose two months with a broken wrist, as Aaron Judge did. In the postmortem, the bottom line is that above all things the Yankees need more and better starting pitching. While Giancarlo Stanton didn’t earn his keep during the playoffs, neither did Aaron Judge a year ago. With added experience, the two should be ready for the pressure of postseason play if the Yankees make it next fall.
The Red Sox’ reward for beating the Yankees is the chance to face the Astros starting Saturday night. As neither series went 5 games, both teams have their top guns available. The Astros will turn to Justin Verlander while the Red Sox throw Chris Sale. Both won their opening playoff games. In game 2, the Astros have selected Gerrit Cole against Boston’s David Price. Cole struck out a dozen Indians over 7 innings while Price lost to the Yankees. The National League championship series starts Friday night in Milwaukee. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw will be on full rest and has already been tapped to start game 1. As of now, more than 48 hours from game time, the Brewers aren’t announcing their choice to face Kershaw. They were lucky to beat the Rockies in game 1 of that series without a starting pitcher being available, but the days off they earned by sweeping the Rockies will give them ample time to choose their game 1 starter.
Weather may be a factor in Boston, but nowhere else. Unlike the Brewers’ former home County Stadium, where the ’82 Brewers faced the Cardinals their modern Miller Park has a roof. Minute Maid Park is also impervious to weather for the same reason. Dodger Stadium is located in possibly the friendliest climate in the country. That leaves Fenway Park vulnerable. The immediate concern, however distant is hurricane Michael. Fast forward to October 23, the day the World Series is due to start. If the Red Sox make the World Series it can be terribly cold in Boston on late October nights.

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