Let’s get ready to rumble.

The Astros celebrate their Game 5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The outcome was merely a formality. The two best teams, by far, in the American League are going to meet in an epic Championship Series. It just took Houston longer than expected to dispose of Tampa Bay. New York had the equivalent of a first-round bye. It played Minnesota.

So here it is. Astros versus Yankees.

107 wins versus 103.

288 home runs in the regular season (Houston, third most in baseball) versus 306 (New York, second most).

920 runs scored (by Houston, third most) versus 943 (most).

A 3.66 team ERA (Houston, third) versus 4.31 (New York, fourteenth).

Two teams that are, offensively, as close as can be might see the series turn on pitching. The Astros have a big edge in starting pitching. But the Yankees will not be intimidated. Or easy.

They have been on this collision course for six months. All other baseball has merely been a distraction. Now it’s time for the big series. It starts Saturday. 

Oh, yeah. Nationals-Cardinals start tonight in a textbook definition of afterthought.


Anibal Sanchez vs. Mile Mikolas
Game time: 7:08 on TBS