2017, the New York Yankees weren’t supposed to be contending for a World Series yet. Building through their young talent, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Gleyber Torres, and Didi Gregorius. They were supposedly 2-3 away from trying to play in October… but that was not the case at all. 2017 was the Rooster? Nope it was the year of Aaron Judge, Aaron Judge to most was average in his time in 2016 and everyone knew he had the tools to be a big time player. Knowing that Aaron Judge kept a daily reminder on his phone about his .179 BA and that motivated him to change everything about his swing. Judge started to sit down in his stance more, moved his back and higher and opened his stance more to pull the ball. With all those changes to his swing made him the 2017 MVP (WAS ROBBED). Aaron Judge in 2017 led the league in HR with 52 and had 114 RBI, .284 BA, .422 OBP, .627 SLG%, 1.049 OPS, 171 OPS+. In percentiles, Judge was in the 100% percentile in Average Exit Velocity, Max Exit Velocity, Hard Hit%, xwOBA, xSLG, Barrel%, and BB%. Yeah I know that was a lot and wondered how he wasn’t MVP and the simple answer for that is because they wanted to give an MVP to a midget for their narrative, and probably the writers Yankee bias but don’t get me started on that like how does MATT BARNES win Reliever of the Month over 0.00 ERA Aroldis Chapman but that’s another story. Also in 2017 the rise of the new Yankee ace Luis Severino arrived and became an All Star and finished 3rd in the CY Young voting the highest a New York Yankee has been since CC Sabathia in 2011. With all that in mind the Yankees finished 2nd in the AL East with a 91-71 record and earned a spot in the AL Wild Card game against the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees won that Wild Card game behind HR’s from Didi Gregorius, Brett Garnder, and AL MVP Aaron Judge. So now the Bronx Bombers are heading to Cleveland to play the defending American League Champions, The Yankees started poorly with losses over AL CY Young Corey Kluber, and Trevor Bauer even though they should have won Game 2. But the team took over from there and swept the rest of the series to establish themselves as a powerhouse for years to come. The series that’s the main cause of this newly found rivalry and the fuel for all the Yankee fans hatred for this baseball team. The Houston Astros have been on the rise since 2015 and writers and reporters all knew the Astros were gonna be good really soon with all the young talent they had in the farm. Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and newly acquired CY Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander. So the stage is set Houston Astros vs New York Yankees ALCS, The Yankees go down 2-0 yet again but then the Astros had to come to the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo was really good for the Yankees in 2017 and they won all 3 games in New York to bring the series to 3-2, 1 game away from the World Series somewhere they shouldn’t have been close to. With the series heading back to Houston and the Yankees ace on the mound everything was looking up but 1st we needed to get through Justin Verlander and it’s safe to say it wasn’t a “bang”. Game 7, CC Sabathia vs Charlie Morton 2 very big game winners pitching one of their most important games of their lives. Welp that didn’t go as planned, the Yankees season ended very tragically but in some term was a successful season because now Cashman could build himself a squad. (P.S: he did)
Cole vs Astros
Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros didn’t leave on the best of terms. Gerrit Cole in his CY Young runner up campaign was debatably the best pitcher in baseball with deGrom and teammate Justin Verlander. Cole after coming to the Yankees has credited the Astros for his development and said he wouldn’t change a thing about his time in Houston but the last event that happened with him and Astros is the reason to believe that Cole will be very pissed off Thursday when he goes up against his former team. Gerrit Cole coming off a really good start in Game 5 said he was ready to pitch in Game 6 and Game 7 if they needed him to come out the bullpen and guess what… they didn’t use him for the rest of the series. And when Cole came out the bullpen after Game 7 you can see he was done and very pissed off.
Astros vs Yankees (5/4 – 5/6)
The next couple of days could be another preview of the ALCS which I’d be down for, 100% capacity in October in the Bronx would be electric. The 3 game series in the Bronx with 25% capacity will hit differently, we as Yankee fans have been waiting for this moment since that news broke. And right now I’m not condoning nor am I but if an Astro gets hit in this series they had it coming they cost players on this team money, fame, and a name in the history books as one of the biggest underdogs. Houston you’ll 100% have a problem after this game.
Game 1 (7:05 YES, ESPN)
Zach Greinke (2-1) vs Domingo German (2-2)
Game 2 (7:05 YES)
Luis Garcia (0-3) vs Jordan Montgomery (1-1)
Game 3 (1:05 YES)
Lance McCullers (2-1) vs Gerrit Cole (4-1)