With the Dodgers starting the World Series tonight, Clayton Kershaw will take the mound against the Astros and will hope to shut down the team that scored the most runs in the majors this year.
If you think the Dodgers‘ offense is deep, the Astros have one as deep, if not more. But the real danger sits at the 2-3-4 holes. Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa will most likely take those spots and form a very formidable three-headed monster.
Alex Bregman is the man who occupies the hot corner for Houston, and he is struggling so far this postseason. Bregman does have two home runs but has an OBP of .244 which shows his lack of productivity. Bregman is no slouch though, so the Dodgers shouldn’t take him lightly.
Bregman batted .284 in the regular season while hitting 19 home runs and was even better post-All-Star Break, hitting .315 with 11 home runs. Bregman is a solid choice for the Astros in the two hole because if he catches fire, the Astros will have the perfect bridge to their meat and potatoes guys.
The plan should be to neutralize the 23-year-old, as you don’t want to allow baserunners for Altuve and Correa. If the Dodgers can shut down Bregman than they are one step closer to getting through the heart of the order. Even if you do get Bregman out, you still have to go up and face MVP candidate Jose Altuve.
Altuve might be the best pure hitter in all of baseball, so if LA was hoping of keeping him off the base paths, they’re going to be disappointed.
Altuve had another monster year in Houston this season, as he collected 204 hits and another batting title. He has continued his success this postseason as he’s batting .400 with five home runs, three of which came in one game.
Jose Altuve will be a pain in the Dodgers side, as he does not only bring a world-class hitter to the plate but one of the fastest guys in baseball as well. When he does find a way to get on base, you get almost guarantee he will be looking to swipe a base.
The Dodgers key to winning this series may lie in their ability to keep this guy at bay. If the Dodgers have any hope of winning the World Series, it starts with shutting down the Astros’ lineup, and Altuve is the one guy you want to get out. Coming in at a close second would be the man behind him in Carlos Correa.
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Correa was also phenomenal in the regular season as he was able to hit 24 home runs and managed a .315 average. All of this came despite Correa missing multiple weeks with a thumb injury.
But he was still able to put up MVP-type numbers despite the injury and is in the conversation with Corey Seager as the best shortstop in the league. Correa is a dangerous hitter and can be just as destructive as Altuve when he’s hitting well.
In the postseason, Correa has three home runs and is batting .295. Correa was able to be the hero during the ALCS as he delivered a game-winning double in the bottom of the 9th that put the Astros up 2-0 in the series.
The Puerto Rican is a prolific hitter, and if the Dodgers can get through him, they will have steered clear of the most dangerous part of the lineup. The team must be careful pitching to Correa, especially if Altuve and Bregman can get on base.
Los Angeles will have their hands full this series with the trio of Bregman, Altuve and Correa, but if they can shut down these three guys, they will probably have an easy time in the series. This is a BIG “if” though as the Astros are not going to go down quietly especially when you have an elite offense as they do.