The New York Yankees and Houston Astros are squaring off again in the ALCS. It’s exactly like 2017. Except it’s not.
Yes, the usual suspects remain, Jose Altuve, Justin Verlander, Alex Bregman, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino.
Yet, there’s a whole new cast of characters.
For one thing, Cameron Maybin is on our side this time around.
Take a look around the infield. Gregory Paul Bird is M.I.A. and in his place is DJLMVP and waiting in tow is Luke Voit, who was walkin’ in Memphis in 2017. Starlin Castro was nice but Gleyber Torres was but a twinkle in someone’s eye in 2017 and now at 22 is here and ready for battle. Gio Urshela isn’t from Jersey but he’s still splendid at the hot corner. Adding those guys around Sanchez and Didi Gregorius is a solid nucleus.
Moving to the outfield, Judge isn’t a rookie anymore, he’s a locked-in veteran. Giancarlo Stanton was hitting 59 bombs and winning the NL MVP in the obscurity of Miami in 2017 but if you were at the June 22 BP Crew game, you saw firsthand what he’s capable of against the Astros. Do you really believe this possessed version of Brett Gardner is hitting .148 again? I don’t!