All that stands between the Houston Astros and their first American League Championship Series appearance (and first Championship Series appearance of any kind since 2005) is a Game 3 date with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
In Games 1 and 2 of their AL Division Series against Boston, the Astros have proved why they were the AL’s top offense throughout the regular season. In those games, both won by the Astros 8-2, Houston outhomered the Red Sox 6-0 and batted .343 to Boston’s .227. The pitching has been equally lopsided, with Houston maintaining a 2.00 ERA to Boston’s 9.00 ERA, continuing an ugly Red Sox trend dating from last season’s ALDS.
Jose Altuve, who led all of baseball with a .346 average in the regular season, lit up Minute Maid Park with three home runs in Game 1 on Thursday, earning himself “MVP!” chants from the home crowd. Altuve’s partner in crime, shortstop Carlos Correa, continued where the second baseman left off, homering, doubling and knocking in four runs Friday to put the Red Sox on the brink of elimination.
With young talent like that, along with Alex Bregman and George Springer — both of whom have also homered in the series — one win feels like it could spark the beginning of an AL dynasty.
A home loss to the Astros on Sunday would mark the second consecutive ALDS sweep for the Red Sox. Last season’s came at the hands of the eventual AL champion Cleveland Indians.
Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA) and Doug Fister (5-9, 4.88) will take the mound Sunday for the Astros and Red Sox, respectively.