Its the biggest series of the year against the best team in baseball so far in 2022.
The Astros open a four game series against the New York Yankees tonight in the Bronx. This series will pit the top two teams in the AL and bitter rivals for the first time this year in what oddsmakers would say are the favorites for the ALCS.
How are the Yankees the best team in baseball. Let us count the ways:
- Best record. 51 wins, only 18 losses, six more wins than second best Mets and eight more than the Astros while playing in the toughest division in baseball
- League leader in runs (353)
- League leader in home runs ((115)
- League leader in SLG. (.442)
- League leader in wRC+ (120)
- League leader in ERA (tied with Astros at 2.90)
- League lead in xFIP (3.51)
- League lead in BAA, WHIP, and K/BB%
Everyone who follows baseball knows that Aaron Judge leads the Yankee offense, putting up Ruthian numbers in this, his contract season. He already has accrued 4.0 fWAR, with a wRC+ of 188, and an MLB leading 27 homers and 52 RBI.
Other major threats in the Yankee lineup include Anthony Rizzo (139 wRC+) Gleyber Torres) 131 wRC+) Giancarlo Stanton (130 wRC+) DJ LeMahieu (118 wRC+) and Josh Donaldson (108 wRC+).
The Yankees have the leading starting and second leading bullpen ERAs in the AL.
The rotation is anchored, of course, by Gerrit Cole (6-1, 3.13 ERA) But lesser lights are shining too.
- Nestor Cortes: 6-3, 2.31 ERA
- Jameson Taillon: 8-1, 2.70 ERA
- Jordan Montgomery: 3-1, 2.97 ERA
- Luis Severino: 4-1, 3.27 ERA
The mainstays of the bullpen are Michael King and closer Clay Holmes with 12 saves in 13 attempts. Aroldis Chapman has nine saves but 10 walks compared to 15 Ks in 14 IP. His ERA at 3.86 outperforms his disappointing peripherals this year.
Thursday, June 23, 6:05 CT
Framber Valdez (7-3, 2.78 ERA) vs Jameson Taillon, (8-1, 2.70 ERA)
Friday, June 24, 6:05 CT
Justin Verlander, (8-3, 2.30 ERA) vs Luis Severino (4-1 3.27 ERA)
Saturday, June 25, 12:05 CT
Cristian Javier (4-3, 3.07 ERA) vs Gerrit Cole (6-1 3.14 ERA)
Sunday June 26, 12:35 CT
Josse Urquidy, (6-3, 4.68 ERA) vs Nestor Cortes (6-3, 3.21 ERA)
Who wins this series
Astros sweep 4-0
Astros win 3-1
Series splits 2-2
Yankees win 3-1
Yankees sweep 4-0