Fantasy Preview: Red Sox vs Astros 30th Sep 2017
The Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox look must be looking around and thinking that, even though the playoffs haven’t started yet, it must definitely feel like the postseason has gotten off to an early start. Houston is still jockeying with Cleveland for the #1 overall position in the American League playoffs, while the Boston Red Sox are fighting off the New York Yankees, who are charging along to take away the Red Sox’ division lead.
To make sure they put the nail in the American League East race coffin, they’ll send Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale to the mound in their last two games of the series, on Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st @ Red Sox. Boston must feel even safer with Pomeranz pitching at home at Fenway Park, where he has an 8-2 record and a 3.24 ERA in 14 starts. The big question will be around his durability in the postseason, as the big lefty has completed seven innings once all season (and that was back in late May). But, he has allowed three runs or fewer in 14 of his last 16 starts and 23 of 28 starts overall and won nine of his last 10 decisions.
Meanwhile, if you don’t know about Chris Sale, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention to the American League Cy Young race overall. Sale will finish the season with a 2.90 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, as well as the fifth-highest whiff count of the current millennium. He didn’t allow a single earned run in three of his last six starts, and he’s mowed down 97 batters since August 1st.
The Astros will start the series with 29-year old righty Brad Peacock on the mound on Thursday, September 28th. Peacock would likely be third in the Astros postseason pitching rotation, behind Dallas Kuechel and Justin Verlander. His 12-2 record is very impressive, as is his 2.98 ERA and his average of over 108 pitches per game started. He’ll be going into the postseason playing his best ball, as he owns a 2.35 ERA and 22:8 K:BB through four starts (23 innings) in September.
On Friday the 29th, righty Charlie Morton will follow Peacock. Owner of a 13-7 record himself, Morton allowed one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five across seven innings to earn the win last Saturday, September 24th, against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Morton fired six shutout innings before allowing a solo homer in the seventh inning. He’s also been hot throughout the month of September, as he’s allowed just six earned runs over four starts to lower his ERA from 3.88 to 3.63, and he’s been an excellent source of fantasy production down the stretch.
But the biggest story for the Astros might be watching second baseman Jose Altuve do his best to fend off Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees for the American League MVP award. Altuve has stolen 32 bases while slugging .555; those are thresholds reached by only five other players in the past 94 years. And, of course, he leads all of baseball with his .347 batting average.