October Confidential: Astros

Rival players offer inside look at facing the AL Wild Card

October Confidential: Astros

How do you beat the Astros? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face one of the AL Wild Cards.

Dallas Keuchel
"He's able to use his movement in the zone to get weak contact. He can punch guys out, obviously, but he's more of a contact pitcher. He knows where to throw the ball. He doesn't leave anything over the plate. He puts every pitch where he wants it. He's always going to be able to keep the game in control because he pitches his way out of trouble very well."
-- AL West catcher

Date Result
Oct. 6 HOU 3, NYY 0

Scott Kazmir
"He uses a four-pitch mix, does such a good job changing speeds, changing eye levels. He's even tougher with people on base because he's got that good slide step and the ball really gets on you. Obviously he's got a lot of experience and, with what he's been through in his career, he's unfazed by any adversity."
-- AL West catcher
 
Luke Gregerson
"Gregerson's tough, because he obviously has one of the best sliders in the game, but he doesn't get enough credit for his fastball. His fastball has such good downward movement, really good dive. Honestly, I think his fastball is his best pitch."
-- AL West infielder

Pat Neshek
"Funky. That's the biggest thing is his deception. He's just a funky, funky pitcher with really good stuff. His fastball, he's got his velocity back. His slider to righties and his changeup to lefties are big weapons."
-- AL West infielder

George Springer
"He is just like everyone else in their lineup. He's scary because he has a good eye. He punches out a lot, but any mistake, any pitch that's thrown to the plate, you don't know when it's going to leave the yard, and that's how their whole team is. He's a really good hitter, has a good approach and goes the other way really, really well. He's got plus-power, and especially hitting leadoff for them now, that's kind of what they've been missing. It changes the dynamic of their lineup big time."
-- AL West catcher

Jose Altuve
"He's a pest. He really is. Altuve swings at every single pitch and he gets a hit at every single pitch. You almost want to throw the ball down the middle and hope he pops it up because he hits good breaking balls really well and he hits fastballs with movement really well. You honestly don't know what to do with him sometimes. He's a Vladimir Guerrero-type hitter, and he's got power. You can't get fancy with him. If you do, he gets hits. If you can keep Altuve off the bases, which isn't easy to do at all, you're going to win."
-- AL West catcher

Carlos Correa
"He's one of the best young players in the game. The way he plays shortstop and his approach at the plate, it blows me away that he's only 20. He's one of the toughest outs in the American League, let alone in that lineup. Just the poise and confidence he plays with, he's well beyond his years. He's going to be a really good player for a long time."
-- AL West infielder

Evan Gattis
"Oy, the White Bear. He might be one of the scariest hitters in the American League, because he'll swing at anything. He's hit pitches that are eye-level, he takes pitches out of the dirt and hits them out. He's confident in the box, a presence in there."
-- AL West catcher