The Houston Astros lineup is incredible: they had the league’s best offense during the regular season and have scored 6.3 runs per game in the playoffs, which is amazing.
That kind of offensive explosion has allowed the Astros to advance all the way to the World Series.
As of Friday afternoon, they are tied with the Atlanta Braves, the National League champions, at one win apiece in the Fall Classic.
A pivotal Game 3 will be played on Friday at Truist Park in Atlanta.
A Still-Undervalued Star In The Astros Lineup
Alex Bregman is part of the same core, and remains a dangerous threat as a hitter.
Yordan Alvarez could be the Astros’ left fielder in Atlanta (where there is no designated hitter because of NL rules) and remains a force at the plate, as the reigning ALCS MVP.
And then, there is Kyle Tucker.
Tucker is actually in the same league as Altuve, Correa, Bregman, and Alvarez, as he is one of the team’s best hitters.
Perhaps he still isn’t a known commodity around the league, but his numbers speak for themselves: .294/.359/.557 with 30 home runs, 83 runs scored, 92 RBI, and a .917 OPS.
In the 2021 postseason, he has been a steady force with a .298/.340/.617 slash line, four home runs, 15 RBI, and a .957 OPS.
In other words, his offensive output is among the very best in the American League.
Kyle Tucker is a STAR
— Christopher (@yoboychrizz) October 23, 2021
There are reasons to believe he is in for a big game against the Braves on Friday night.
Tucker has evolved so much as a hitter in the last couple of years that he can hit virtually any pitch: he is not especially vulnerable to fastballs, breaking balls, or changeups.
In fact, he hit .311 and slugged .608 against changeups in 2021, with six homers and four doubles in 83 plate appearances.
Why is this important at this time?
Tucker Can Punish Any Pitch, Especially Changeups
Because Ian Anderson, the Braves’ starter for Game 3, is a known changeup artist.
Of course, his is a very good changeup, but Tucker, as demonstrated above, can more than hold his own against the offering.
In 2021, 31.4 percent of Anderson’s offerings were changeups, significantly more than his curveball and sinker.
Anderson, a righty, uses his changeup as a weapon to retire left-handed hitters like Tucker.
It could be a good matchup for the Astros slugger.
If he wants to attack him with curveballs, Tucker had a good .471 slugging percentage and seven homers against that pitch.
He also murdered fastballs, so it’s not like he can throw another type of pitch to him.
Tucker has hit well in almost every stop in 2021: the regular season, the Division Series, the Championship Series, and now the World Series.
KYLE TUCKER PUT SOME RESPECT ON HIS NAME pic.twitter.com/seN2I4h11v
— saucycatches (@saucycatches) October 23, 2021
He could be the unsung Astros hitter primed for a big game against Anderson and the Braves.