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Post-season Gameday Thread, #12: ALCS opens

Whoever comes through from the Yankees-Astros match-up would be the hot favorite for the World Series.

MLB: ALCS-Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

1:08 pm - Nationals @ Cards (1-0)

Today's Lineups

Trea Turner - SS Dexter Fowler - CF
Adam Eaton - RF Kolten Wong - 2B
Anthony Rendon - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Juan Soto - LF Marcell Ozuna - LF
Howie Kendrick - 2B Yadier Molina - C
Ryan Zimmerman - 1B Matt Carpenter - 3B
Kurt Suzuki - C Tommy Edman - RF
Michael Taylor - CF Paul DeJong - SS
Max Scherzer - RHP Adam Wainwright - RHP

It’s worth looking at the Vegas odds for the World Series, before any games were played in either CS. The BEST odds for either of the NL teams was the 4-1 given to the Nationals, while the Cardinals were the outsiders, at 5-1. And one or other of those is going to end up in the World Series. In contrast, the Astros were 13-10 favorites, while the Yankees were 5-2. I do think the Nats pitching rotation would give them a better shot: they have four (as we saw last night) starters who can, on any given day, shut down an opposition offense effectively. The problem is, the word is “can”. For the Astros, it’s closer to “probably will,” and that’s why this series will likely determine who loses the World Series on behalf of the NL.

5:08 pm - Yankees @ Astros (0-0)

Today's Lineups

DJ LeMahieu - 1B George Springer - CF
Aaron Judge - RF Michael Brantley - LF
Gleyber Torres - 2B Jose Altuve - 2B
Edwin Encarnacion - DH Alex Bregman - 3B
Giancarlo Stanton - LF Yordan Alvarez - DH
Brett Gardner - CF Yuli Gurriel - 1B
Gary Sanchez - C Carlos Correa - SS
Gio Urshela - 3B Kyle Tucker - RF
Didi Gregorius - SS Robinson Chirinos - C

As for who will face them, the Astros are 10/17 favored, with the Yankees at 3/2, so not much value to be found there. The series going 6 and 7 games is seen as equally likely (2/1), with Houston in six the outcome with the lowest odds, at 7/2. You can get 7/1 odds against a sweep by either team, which sounds like it might be worth a flutter. If that Astros rotation gets going, it could end up being a steamroller, even given the Yankees’ and their much-vaunted offense. We’ll see if Zack Greinke can stand up to the national spotlight a bit better than his last post-season start. If he does, then this could conceivably be over before the NLCS, despite starting a day later.