New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros
Houston leads series 2-0
Over the first two games of the ALCS, one thing became crystal clear. The Astros aren’t very interested in playing the sort of game that allowed the Yankees to crawl back from an 0-2 deficit in the ALDS. It’s a baseball truism that pitching wins in the postseason. More specifically, starting pitching that can stifle even the most hard-hitting lineups for more than six innings wins championships. Where the Indians starters stumbled in the ALDS, Houston starters Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander have absolutely silenced the Yanks’ bats. The duo dominated in games one and two, combining for sixteen innings of one run ball, as well as twenty-three strikeouts. Houston’s hitters haven’t been hitting the cover off the ball, but they’ve managed enough to put both games in the bag by the identical scores of 2-1. With the series now shifting to the Bronx, Houston will look to avoid the momentum swing that took down the heavily favored Indians in the ALDS.
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles leads series 2-0
In the NLCS, the home team Dodgers are also out to a quick 2-0 lead. Steady pitching from Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill has prevented any outbreaks from the Cubs offense thus far, but perhaps more importantly, the Dodgers are raking. Yasiel Puig dominated game one with a homerun and a double. In game two, Justin Turner provided all the offense for LA, including a two out, three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth that secured the win. While the Cubs battled with the Nationals in their divisional series, the Dodgers have yet to lose a game thus far this post season. As the series heads to Chicago, if the Cubs pitching staff can’t find the form that won it all last year, LA will be returning to the World Series for the first time since 1988.