RED SOX @ ASTROS — ALCS GAME 3
Series tied 1-1
Nathan Eovaldi (6-7, 3.81 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (12-11, 3.74 ERA)
Here’s a tantalizing preview of two potential free agent additions to the Giants this offseason. Regardless of the progressive baseball brain hired to oversee the operation, the marching orders will remain unchanged: “win and develop.”
Eovaldi is a right-handed fireballer who will be 29 next season and a successful year removed from Tommy John surgery. Both he and Jeff Samardzija sport the same career ERA+ (96), but he’s also four years younger right now and would be two years younger than when the Giants signed the Shark to his ill-fated deal.
Meanwhile, Dallas Keuchel represents a sort of best case scenario career for Andrew Suarez and I could easily see the new SmartGM including Suarez in a trade package and replacing him with Keuchel for this very reason.
How Keuchel handles Boston’s power lineup will set the stage for the game. He gave up five runs (1 home run allowed) and 9 hits in just five innings of work against this same lineup back in September in a 6-5 loss.
Houston’s injury contingent (with Carlos Correa’s back really affecting his ability to play defense and Jose Altuve’s knee might force him to DH) will make it less likely they’ll come back from a big early deficit, just as we saw the other night.
Meanwhile, Eovaldi gave up four consecutive home runs to the Astros in a June loss when he still pitched for the Rays. Alex Bregman commemorated the occasion just yesterday by posting an Instagram video of the consecutive home runs.
It’s good when there’s a little bit of juice to a series. May we see many, many home runs tonight.
BREWERS @ DODGERS — NLCS GAME 4
Brewers lead 2-1
Gio Gonzalez (10-11, 4.21 ERA) vs. Rich Hill (11-5, 3.66 ERA)
There’s a nonzero chance that the Dodgers lose this series and that’s a very exciting idea to contemplate. If they don’t make it to the World Series, then their year will have been slow start, Seager out, Kershaw out, Macahdo in, bad bullpen, Jansen’s heart, RICO investigation, losing the NLCS. A lot has to happen before that — Jeremy Jeffress will never stop pitching — but for now, it’s enough to be excited about the potential.
Although the Dodgers don’t look invincible, the Brewers still need to keep their house in order by doing things like getting on base and making sure Christian Yelich sprays the ball all over the field.
Rich Hill was good against the Brewers in two starts this year (13 strikeouts in 12 innings, 2 runs allowed), but Orlando Arcia is 1-for-2 in his career against him, so, expect that to be the key matchup once again; because, as you know, Arcia is a playoff hero.