ALCS Game One Preview with Andrew Santangelo
The Championship series’ are set to begin this evening. The ALCS will take place in San Diego the home of the Padres in Petco Park. The first game will feature the Tampa Bay Rays vs Houston Astros. The Astros will throw their best postseason pitcher in Framber Valdez how is 2-0 with a 1.50ERA in his first ever postseason. He will look to lead a Houston team while trying to prove all the haters wrong after their cheating scandal. The Rays will counter with another southpaw in Blake Snell who is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA through the postseason so far. This will be the first time these two teams have played one another since the Astros knocked the Rays out last October just about a year ago. That series was a 3-2 Astros series win, however the pitching staff for the Astros will not include Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
The key hitter for the Rays will have to continue to be Randy Arozarena having three home runs vs the Yankees. He is hitting .444 through the postseason so far just behind leadoff hitter Mike Brosseau who is .500 throughout the postseason so far. Rays will continue to lean on the top half of that lineup to try and continue to get things done. The back half of the game look for the Rays to continue to use one of the most dominate bullpens in the game this season.
Houston has had probably the hottest overall hitting throughout the 2020 postseason so far. Lead by Carlos Correa backing up his trash talking. He comes into the series hitting .500 with four homeruns 12 RBIS. The Astros probably have a little deeper overall lineup top to bottom right now, while they will look to use this as their biggest advantage throughout the series but especially early on trying to gain a lead.
Game 1 Advantage:
This game should be one of the better one’s of the series meaning closest to even. With the way Valdez is pitching one of the best in the postseason even slightly better than Snell look for him to go deeper into the game while Rays could always turn to the bullpen early like we have seen plenty times before. The hitting in game 1 will go to the Astros, personally slightly like the advantage of most their hitters being right handed against Snell, along with their hitters being more consistent right now. This game should turn into a great duel between the two southpaws. If it truly gets into a battle of the bullpens late than that will be advantage Rays. However, personally think Valdez will slightly out duel Snell in this one allowing the Astros to gain the lead early.
In a way it is a wash on the advantage but this could slightly help the Astros since Petco Park is more of a pitchers park. Having the help in a lesser area could come into play for the defending American League Champions.