New York Yankees (91-71) vs Cleveland Indians (102-60)
Yankees key to winning: No Kluber in game 1 and its a five game series. Sonny Gray needs to go 7 innings and shut down Yankees to get the edge in the series. The big hitters in the Yankees lineup tend to strikeout a bit, while the Indians only have one player with 100+ K’s. Cut down on strikeouts and keep the inning rolling will help the Yankees to keep up with the Tribe.
Indians key to winning: Keep the hot streak rolling. This could very well be an offensive matchup and both lineups are pretty even. Michael Brantley will be the X-factor in this series. Both back ends of the bullpens are dominant so its going to be up to Terry Francona to out manage Joe Girardi.
Prediction: Indians 3-2
Boston Red Sox (93-69) vs Houston Astros (101-61)
Red Sox key to winning: Games 1 and 2 are going to be where this series is decided. Chris Sale needs to be his Cy Young candidate self to beat out the infamous Verlander in Houston. And Pomeranz is going to have to duel out Keuchel or at least make it close, so that Boston has some momentum going back home. Shut down Altuve and the Sox could keep up with Astros offense.
Astros Key to winning: Beat Sale in game 1. Beating the ace the Sox traded for will not only give them a 1-0 lead, but down the Red Sox composure. Need to feed off of than fan atmosphere in Houston and bring that momentum into Fenway Park.
Prediction: Astros 3-1