We are perhaps entering an era of superteams. The eight teams to play in the divisional round each posted run differentials of 100 or greater in the regular season, and six had differentials of at least 140. That many teams hadn't had run differentials of 140-plus since 1999.
While the number of noncompetitive rebuilding clubs perhaps contributed to these run differentials, there is little doubt that the playoff teams feature overwhelming talent. In the League Championship Series, audiences will be treated to some excellent best-on-best matchups on the game's biggest stage, when one swing can change fortunes and outcomes. And for the purposes of this article, we are concerned with the swings and general offensive ability of the remaining players in the postseason field.
Following is an examination of the 10 remaining hitters who have the best chance to impact the LCS. The following is not only an analysis of their talent in isolation, but also a consideration of matchups and trends. The question at hand is this: Who are the 10 bats most likely to impact LCS play?
Judge struggled in the ALDS, setting a record for strikeouts in a postseason series (16), and he has been prone to deep slumps early in his career, stretches that are perhaps exacerbated by his 6-foot-7 frame. But he's still the AL's top power threat and has the ability to change a game with one swing.
Moreover, Astros starter Dallas Keuchel has an excellent changeup, and Judged posted a .367 average and an .837 slugging mark against changeups. Astros right-handers Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers have excellent curves, and Judge has slugged .633 against the breaking pitch and batted .283.