The Houston Astros defeated the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2021 World Series on Wednesday evening, night the best-of-seven sequence at 1-1 forward of the journey day. The subsequent three video games of the sequence will probably be performed at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia and beneath the governing guidelines of the Nationwide League. That final half is price noting as a result of it inconveniences the Astros, a group constructed with the designated hitter in thoughts.
The battle supervisor Dusty Baker has to resolve is the best way to deploy Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, and Kyle Tucker with out the DH spot. Alvarez’s play in the outfield was one of the Astros’ X-factors CBS Sports’ Dayn Perry explored in further detail here. Usually, Baker would be capable of plop down Alvarez at DH and have Brantley and Tucker break up the corners. That possibility will not be accessible to him over the following three video games.
As a substitute, Baker should select one of many these 4 routes:
Play all three within the outfield
That final half would possibly sound ridiculous, however Baker confirmed a willingness to do it throughout the common season. The Astros dialed up an Alvarez-Tucker-Brantley association within the outfield to begin three video games, all in NL parks. Alas, that possibility maximizes the Astros’ offensive potential whereas compromising their protection. It appears extra probably, then, that Baker will go for Chas McCormick or Jose Siri in middle as a way of serving to out Houston’s pitching workers. Sitting Tucker would additionally appear to be a no-go.
Supplied these assertions are appropriate (and Baker, for his half, claimed he hadn’t made up his mind when he was asked about how he’d handle the NL portion of the series), Alvarez will function the fulcrum for Baker’s decision-making course of.
It is clear that the Astros assume Brantley is the higher fielder. Greater than 70 % of Alvarez’s regular-season begins this 12 months had been in a hitting-only capability. Furthermore, when Alvarez did begin in left, it was actually because Brantley was on the injured listing. It is also clear that Alvarez is the higher hitter — if he wasn’t, this would not be tough.
The obvious answer is to have them flip-flop assignments, beginning one in Recreation 3 after which the opposite in Recreation 4. The Astros could maintain it easy and do this, but when we might provide some humble recommendation: they need to begin Alvarez in Recreation 3.
That is as a result of projected beginning pitcher Luis Garcia had the bottom proportion of batted balls hit to the left aspect of the sector (round 25 %) of any of the 92 pitchers who threw a minimum of 2,000 choices this season. If the Astros need to decrease Alvarez’s fielding alternatives, a Garcia begin would appear to make for an excellent pairing.
In addition to, that is true in one other sense. Garcia won’t be the most effective matchup for the Braves’ assortment of left-handed hitters, making it crucial that the Astros have as a lot firepower of their lineup as they’ll muster.
We’ll see if Baker and the Astros see it the identical manner, and the way they’re going to play it in Video games 4 and 5. For Recreation 3, although, Alvarez would appear like the suitable selection.
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https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/information/2021-world-series-why-astros-yordan-alvarez-should-start-in-left-field-for-game-3-in-atlanta/ | 2021 World Collection: Why Astros’ Yordan Alvarez ought to begin in left subject for Recreation 3 in Atlanta