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Houston Astros-New York Yankees in ALCS a matchup for the ages

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Perez on ALCS: 'I just want it to go seven' (1:49)

Eduardo Pérez and Tim Kurkjian break down Gerrit Cole's Game 5 dominance and look ahead to the much-anticipated ALCS between the Yankees and Astros. (1:49)

Isn't this what we expected all along? Is it not, in fact, kind of what we wanted?

A Houston Astros-New York Yankees American League Championship Series has seemed almost inevitable ever since projections started coming out during the hot stove season. Not everything turned out exactly as we expected. We didn't know that Aaron Boone's Bombers would have to circumnavigate an ocean of injuries, and we didn't know that the Astros would unleash rookie masher Yordan Alvarez on American League pitchers, or that they would trade for Zack Greinke. But this matchup at this stage of the MLB playoffs is really no great surprise.

Fans of the Red Sox, Indians, Twins, Rays and Athletics all may disagree but, let's face it, from a pure baseball standpoint, there is no reason to dislike this ALCS showdown, which opens Saturday night at Houston. In fact, we can think of 10 reasons to love it. There are probably more, but these things tend to be presented in 10-packs.

Consider this a teaser: