New York Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu, left, forces out Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Rosario, right, at first base during the fifth inning in Game 3 of a baseball American League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce
The American League Championship Series, theoretically, could be even more exciting.
It is a matchup of heavyweights, pitting the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees. The Astros won 107 games during the regular season, tops in the major leagues, then outlasted the Tampa Bay Rays in five games in their American League Division Series. The Yankees were 103-game winners then swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS round.
“It’s the matchup that we wanted,” Astros shortstop Carlos Correa told reporters following Game 5 of the ALDS. “It’s the matchup that everybody wants to watch. It’s must-see TV right there. So, everybody is going to be tuning in. It’s going to be fun.”
The fun begins Saturday night with Game 1 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Here is a look at four key players to watch in the ALCS:
DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
LeMahieu has been everything the Yankees were hoping for when they signed the infielder to a two-year, $24-million contract in free agency in the offseason. That followed eight seasons with the Colorado Rockies in which he won a National League batting title and three Gold Gloves as a second baseman.
The Yankees belted 306 home runs in the regular season, the second-highest total in major league history behind the Twins’ 307. Yet it was