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2017 ALDS Game 3 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox

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Keuchel goes for a 2-0 lead for the Astros.

MLB: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

2017 American League Division Series

Houston Astros (2-0) vs. Boston Red Sox (0-2), Oct. 8, 2017, 1:38 p.m. CDT

Location: Minute Maid Park, Boston, MA
TV: FS1
Radio: stream on MLB At Bat app, 790 KBME AM, ESPN Deportes 1230
Online: MLB.TV, Fox Sports Go
Red Sox SBNation Blog: Over the Monster


Pitching Matchup

RHP Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .286 BABIP, 3.73 xFIP) vs. RHP Doug FIster, 5-9, 4.88 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, .301 BABIP, 4.18 xFIP)


Preview

The Houston Astros are just one win away from reaching the American League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history. It would be the first time to reach the championship series since 2005 and the fifth time overall including four trips to the National League Championship Series.

But first Brad Peacock and Doug Fister much face off in game three.

Pitching matchup

What a strange matchup game three brings. Who would have guess Brad Peacock and Doug Fister would be facing off in the playoffs?

Fister made 32 starts for the Astros in 2016 and wasn't re-signed by Houston in the offseason. Peacock struggled with injuries for the past two seasons and only made five starts last year.

Now the tables have completely turned. Peacock was lights out as a reliever and found that same form in the starting rotation. Fister after starting the season with the Angels' minor league system, he was picked up off waivers by the Red Sox.

Peacock was 3-0 with 2.57 ERA during his final month in the rotation, including a win over the Red Sox (5 IP, 2 ER, 2 SO, 1 BB).

Fister was 2-2 with a 5.58 ERA in six starts during the September. His last start was against Houston, he allowed three runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Hitting trends

More than half of the Red Sox batters have less than four career at-bats against Peacock. The two exceptions are Mitch Moreland and Dustin Pedroia. Moreland is 2-for-13 with a home run. Pedroia is 3-for-8 with two walks.

Red Sox vs. Brad Peacock career stats

BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Dustin Pedroia 8 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.375 0.500 0.375 0.875
Brock Holt 4 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0.500 0.500 1.250 1.750
Mitch Moreland 13 2 0 0 1 1 1 6 0.154 0.214 0.385 0.599
Xander Bogaerts 4 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0.250 0.400 0.250 0.650
Jackie Bradley Jr. 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Eduardo Nunez 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 2.000 3.000
Christian Vazquez 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.333 0.5 0.333 0.833
Chris Young 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.5
Andrew Benintendi 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Mookie Betts 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Rajai Davis 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.167 0.000 0.167
Rafael Devers 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Hanley Ramirez 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Three Astros have 10-plus at-bats against FIster: Carlos Beltran, Cameron Maybin, and Josh Reddick. Reddick is 5-for-17 with a double. Beltran and Alex Bergman (1-for-3) each have a home run.

Astros vs. Doug Fister career stats

BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Carlos Beltran 13 5 1 0 1 3 1 1 0.385 0.429 0.692 1.121
Josh Reddick 17 5 1 0 0 1 0 2 0.294 0.294 0.353 0.647
Cameron Maybin 14 4 3 0 0 1 2 5 0.286 0.375 0.500 0.875
Jose Altuve 7 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.429 0.429 0.429 0.857
Alex Bregman 3 3 1 0 1 3 0 0 1.000 1.000 2.333 3.333
Evan Gattis 8 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.25 0.333 0.25 0.583
Juan Centeno 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Derek Fisher 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.500 0.500 0.500 1.000
Yuli Gurriel 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.500 0.500 0.500 1.000
Brian McCann 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.667 0.500 1.167
Carlos Correa 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Marwin Gonzalez 7 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
George Springer 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333

Keys to success

Carlos Beltran

Beltran is 5-for-13 with a double, a home run, and three RBIs in his career against Boston's game three starter Doug Fister. Beltran had batted .327 (64x196) with 16 home runs and 41 RBIs in his playoff career.

Brad Peacock

Brad Peacock has been a road warrior in 2017. Peacock is 8-0 with a 2.88 ERA in 17 games (12 starts) on the road.

Bullpen Usage

The Red Sox bullpen has already had to pitch nine innings in relief compared to Houston's 6 1/3. It is a small margin but it will add up with Fister on the mound in a win or loss. Fister last four starts haven't gotten through the sixth inning — but the four before that were at seven innings or more (including one complete game).