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MLB Postseason 2018: Three takeaways from Astros’ ALDS Game 1 over Indians

Houston is a long way from repeating as the MLB champions, but Friday was a good start as it took down the Indians 7-2 behind 5 1/3 solid innings Barry Bonds Jersey from Justin Verlander and four home runs from its lineup.Verlander came out in the sixth with two runners on, but trade-deadline acquisition Ryan Pre sly managed to get out of the jam and to s another scorele s inning to help the Astros to victory.Game 2 will be played Saturday at 4:37 p.m. ET on TBS.Three takeaways from ALDS Game 1Corey Kluber all of a sudden hittable in postseasonCorey Kluber was the most unhittable man in the majors during the Indians 2016 run to the World Series. The two-time Cy Young award winner went 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in six starts before getting knocked around a bit on short rest in Game 7 against the Cubs.Since then though, Kluber has been remarkably average, if not bad in the postseason.In 2017, he went 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA while allowing 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings of two starts against the Yankees, and against the Astros on Friday he went just 4 2/3 innings while giving up six hits, four runs and three home runs.Going back to Game 7 of the World Series in 2016, Kluber has 10.20 ERA in his last four postseason starts.It doesn’t make a Willie Mays Jersey lot of sense because he’s been great in each of the last three regular seasons. But he did not have it in last year’s ALDS and even in Game 1 this time aroundhe was struggling with his command his fastball velocity was a bit down and he couldn’t work the inside part of the plate.This is starting to become troublesome.Verlander vulnerable, but effective against IndiansWhen the Astros acquired Justin Verlander from the Tigers in 2017, Indians fans weren’t all that intimidated.”They had his number,” they said, or, “We can beat him.” They weren’t wrong. Over the last five years, Verlander had never posted an ERA better than 4.00 in a season against the Indians.Even when he did post one below that in 2013, it wasn’t amazing as it stood at 3.38. But Friday the Indians learned Verlander can handle them in the postseason no matter his history.The 35-year-old to sed five hitle s innings before exiting in the sixth after allowing two hits and two runs while striking out seven over 5 1/3.Cleveland was fine with Houston getting Verlander last season, they may not be so happy about it now.Astros take advantage of twoof Indians’ greatest weakne sesThe Indians are one of the best teams at mi sing bats as they became the first team in history to have four starters post seasons of 200 strikeouts or more.However, with great power comes great propensity for allowing home runs.While Cleveland was the best in baseball last year allowing home runs, it took a big step back in 2018 posting the eighth-most home runs allowed by their pitching staffwith 200, which is a two-fold situation for the Indians.For one, their starters throw so hard in a day in age where everyone is trying to hit home runs, they are prone to allowing more long balls, and two, their bullpen was so much worse this season than Juan Marichal Jersey last year that they were prone to giving up bombs too.The Astros hit four home runs Friday, three of of starter Corey Kluber and another off of reliever Cody Allen, who has historically been great against Houston.The home runs were the difference in the game as well as they accounted for four of Houston’s runs and gave the Astros a lead they would never get back. If the Indians want to win this series they will have to hold down an Astros team who finished 10th in MLB with 205 home runs this season.

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