The Red Sox have the highest winning percentage in the Major Leagues at .696 while the Astros are currently sitting in 4th with .614 (Yankees are 2nd at .673 and Brewers are 3rd at .632). Additionally, the Red Sox have been one of the hottest team in baseball winning 8 of their last 10 while the Astros are 6-4 in that time frame but again, we’re talking about the 2017 champions here so let’s not get too cocky.
This series is going to provide some wild talking points beyond the fact that the Red Sox have the best record in baseball and the Astros are the defending champs.
Each team has at least 1 former MVP on their squad and are stocked with players who are all peaking in their careers. Currently both teams also have 2 former Cy Young winners and have a combined SEVEN players(4 for BOS and 3 for HOU) in the top 10 of ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor.
There is literally a 70% chance someone playing in this series wins the AL best pitcher award.
That being said the Houston Astros are sporting the lowest ERA and WHIP in the game while the Red Sox have the Highest Batting Average and Runs produced.
In fact, when going through meaningful pitching stat it’s a given the Astros are likely in the top 5 while the Red Sox have the same going for them with meaningful hitting. Unstoppable force...meet immovable object.
via Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Of course, there is also the fact that The Red Sox are only getting better as Mookie Betts is expected back in the lineup today for the first game of the series. That is going to be a huge moral boost to the club and Sox nation.
He is the league leader in batting average and top 2 in almost every other offensive category including the odds to win MVP. Mookie is the cheese on a good burger, the mustard on a hot dog, that pinch of salt added to a meal. We already had something good but now it’s even better...kind of like playoff caliber baseball in the regular season.
These 2 clubs are going to provide an exciting and interesting series that is connected to both the past and future.
Alex Cora and Craig Bjornson (Red Sox Bullpen Coach) will be receiving their World Series Rings from their former team. Justin Verlander will also get to see 4 former teammates from his 2014 Detroit Tigers team that won 90 games (not to mention Dave Dombrowski’s connections there).
So, while this is technically a rematch of last years ALDS with many former MVP and Cy Young winners, this may also be preview of the ALCS this year with a good chance that we’re seeing MVP and Cy Young winners for 2018 as well. Past successes and future greatness, both evident in one 4 game series before the All-Star break.