Astros to test championship mettle in ALCS – MLB.com

HOUSTON — Funny thing about pressure and how it manifests itself. Torture to some, joy to others, and isn’t that the thin line separating cocky and confident? On the other hand, this could be the single thing — mostly intangible — defining baseball’s defending World Series champions.

“If you can’t enjoy the playoffs and kind of get up for stuff like this, then you’re playing the wrong sport,” Astros outfielder George Springer said. “This is why we play all those games — to be playing in places like Fenway Park in October.”

HOUSTON — Funny thing about pressure and how it manifests itself. Torture to some, joy to others, and isn’t that the thin line separating cocky and confident? On the other hand, this could be the single thing — mostly intangible — defining baseball’s defending World Series champions.

“If you can’t enjoy the playoffs and kind of get up for stuff like this, then you’re playing the wrong sport,” Astros outfielder George Springer said. “This is why we play all those games — to be playing in places like Fenway Park in October.”

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 1: Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET/7:09 CT on TBS

That’s what the Astros will be doing when they open the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox on Saturday. This is a matchup that seemed destined to happen after a regular season in which these were the two winningest teams in the Majors: the Red Sox finished 108-54, while the Astros went 103-59.

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

“It’s great,” Houston third baseman Alex Bregman said. “You love to compete. The Boston Red Sox, they love to compete. Everybody in that clubhouse loves to compete, and so do we. It’s going to make for some great

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