We screwed up.
Last Saturday, we here at 98.5 The Sports Hub posted our picks for the American League Championship Series.
They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Our panel of “experts” overwhelmingly picked the Astros in either a five or six game series. Only one person, Billy Lanni from Felger & Mazz, picked the Red Sox to win.
In our defense, at least we were much better at picking the Yankees series.
Actually, there’s no defense for this. Take a look back at how bad we were:
Jim Murray (Felger & Mazz)
Don’t get me wrong, I realize that Alex Cora just keeps rolling 7’s and seemingly every decision he makes is the right one. But starting David Price in Game 2? Nah man, I’m not a sucker. I think it’s a bad move, and one that costs them dearly. They lose Game 2, then three straight in Houston to a better, buzzsaw Astros team.
Houston in 5.
Jon Wallach (Toucher & Rich)
This series is an entirely different animal then the last one.
Houston has a better rotation, a better bullpen, and an offense that is in the top 10 in the league to go with it. This is also with Carlos Correa at half-speed.
The Red Sox have the home field and a better offense, but Sale has to be perfect and Price has to finally give you something to have a shot at this. I’m not seeing it.
Astros in 6.
Adam Jones (The Adam Jones Show)
As expected, the Red Sox beat up on the Yankees. Yippy Skippy! Now comes the real test. Riddle me this: where exactly do the Red Sox have the advantage? Lineup? No. Starting pitching? Uh uh. Bullpen? Close, but no cigar. AJ Hinch also gets the edge at manager. I guess the Red Sox have homefield advantage, but that won’t be enough.
Astros in 5
In a normal year, the Red Sox would be good enough to win the American League and probably the World Series. But this isn’t a normal year. The Astros are wagon and are positioned to become the first team to repeat as World Series champs since the Yankees in 1999-2000. With a great pitching staff and a great offense, Houston can win 3-2 games or 11-10 games. I expect this to be a highly competitive series, but in the end the better team will win.
Astros in 6.
Marshall Hook (98.5 The Sports Hub)
I was so spot on with my last prediction, why not try again? The Red Sox showed they had more pitching then I gave them credit for in the first round against the Yankees. Chris Sale looks better than I thought he would. David Price looks just as bad. Unfortunately for Boston, the Houston pitching staff is just better top to bottom and I think that will be the difference.
Astros in 6.
Tim McKone (98.5 The Sports Hub)
I really like this Red Sox team but it’s hard not be scared of the Astros after seeing what they did to the Indians. I would be looking at this series differently if I thought the Sox could get a REGULAR season start out of Price but at this point how can you expect that???
Astros in 6.
Mike “Sarge” Riley (98.5 The Sports Hub)
Let me re-word Ric Flair’s famous line of “to be the man, you gotta beat the man” – let’s change that to BE THE CHAMP, YOU GOTTA BEAT THE CHAMP. Still not buying into the Red Sox bullpen, and I think Gerrit Cole matches up better against David Price as the Astros will carry that momentum back to Houston.
So the Astros keep the title and the Red Sox will be eliminated in an ALCS for the first time since 2008.
Astros in 6
Billy Lanni (Director of Communications, Felger & Mazz)
Not sure what the record for the most runs scored during an ALCS is, but this series will break it.
Red Sox in 7.
Matt Dolloff (985thesportshub.com)
You’ll definitely see a much better effort out of the Red Sox than you did last October. Alex Cora has had a profound effect on that clubhouse, and he’s also bringing institutional knowledge of the Astros to the table. But despite their “inferior” regular season record, Houston remains the World Series favorite and is an absolute buzzsaw right now. After a split at Fenway, two wins at Minute Maid, and a desperation win for the Red Sox in Game 5, Houston ultimately sends Boston home.
Astros in 6
The two best teams in the American League will meet for the pennant. The Astros open as a slight favorite to win the series (-115) and took care of Cleveland in the ALDS. The VALUE in this series is on the Red Sox (+115) considering they have home field advantage. Last year home teams went 10-2 in the LCS (including 7-0 in the AL). AL home teams are 10-2 the last 2 years.
The Red Sox have question marks in the bullpen and the Astros have not received production from Carlos Correa, who is dealing with a back injury. The team that wins Game 1 will have the advantage. Chris Sale has struggled against Houston, (Sale allowed 4 ERs in 6 IP in a loss vs. HOU earlier this season. They also hit him for 9 ERs in 9.2 IP in the ALDS last season) The Astros are 17-3 in Justin Verlander’s last 20 road starts and finished the season 58-24 on the road.
Prediction: Astros -115 to win the series, Houston in 6 +450
We’ll try and do better the next time.