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MLB: American League Championship Series MVP’s

As of right now, we could be seeing the end of the League Championship Series round. Boston has already grabbed their American League Championship Series pennant by beating the Houston Astros 4-1 Thursday night. But don’t let the fact that Boston took the series in five games fool you. The Houston Astros did not make victory easy for Alex Cora and the gang.

Whether on the winning or losing ends, these teams have several elements and/or players that have caught the attention of the league. They have also given their boosts in confidence and led their teams to crucial wins. Here are the team’s MVPs for the American League Championship Series.

American League Championship Series

Boston Red Sox MVP’s

League Championship Series
HOUSTON, TX. – OCTOBER 16: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox hits a grand slam against the Houston Astros aduring the eighth inning of Game Three of Major League Baseball’s American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas on October 16, 2018. (Staff photo by Christopher Evans/Boston Herald)

For all we revel in the accomplishments of Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, it’s the players with lesser time in the spotlight that have taken over. In this round, Jacky Bradley Jr. has earned himself the ALCS MVP. He did it with his two home runs and nine RBI’s. Not to mention Andrew Benintendi and Nathan Eovaldi proved crucial roles in Boston winning the series.

Meanwhile, David Price came into Game 5 with a hunger to win like no one has ever seen. Prior to last night’s game, Price has never won a playoff start in his career. Not to mention he allowed four runs in his start on Game 2. But all that changed when number 24 stepped onto the mound. Playing opposite of Astros’ ace, Justin Verlander, Price blanked Houston through four innings.

As previously mentioned, Red Sox manager Alex Cora has proven to weather the storm with the stakes riding high. Under him, the ballclub has bent, but not broken, including in Game 4. Not to mention, they have taken all three ALCS games held in Houston, TX. Now that the ALCS is theirs, Cora and company look to finish the season with another World Series banner hoisted in Fenway Park.

Houston Astros MVPs

League Championship Series
George Springer ties all-time MLB record with fifth World Series home run (2017). Image Courtesy of For The Win – USA Today.

Though they are no longer the kings of the AL, The Houston Astros made the Sox work for their wins in this League Championship Series. The Astros’ offense have become more than a handful for Boston. For one thing, George Springer is having another psychotic postseason in 2018. He has become the Astros’ all-time leader in home runs hit in the postseason. Plus, in this series, Springer had a batting average of .381, along with one home run and five RBIs.

Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel made their presences felt in this series. Gurriel cashed in one home run and three RBIs, while Correa and Altuve added an additional five RBI’s between them. Altuve proved to be no slouch in this series, even when he was fighting a nagging leg injury. Marwin Gonzalez pitched in as well, hitting two home runs and four RBIs. Though some of their batting averages were lower than they liked, they did substantial damage nevertheless. They were facing a Boston pitching squad stacked with formidable names on board.

For manager A.J. Hinch, disappointing exits from October have helped him guide the Astros to unforeseen success. Plus, Hinch does not go down easily in the face of adversity. Last season, A.J. Hinch and company faced a 3-2 deficit in the 2017 ALCS against the New York Yankees. But they ended up winning the last two games and taking the AL pennant. Granted, they were playing at home in those games, and now they just got eliminated. But experience in facing unfavorable odds can surely play in Hinch’s favor come next season.

 

Moving Forward…

The Boston Red Sox now await the winner of the National League Championship Series. Whatever rest they can between now and Game 1 of the World Series will help them.

 

Featured image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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