With Saturday’s walkoff victory by the Astros over the Yankees, the field is now set for the 2019 World Series starting on Tuesday night. While both teams are known for their pitching, the respective League Championship Series MVPs were position players. How do these two players compare over the 2019 regular season and in the postseason?
1. José Altuve – 2B, Houston Astros
Awards: 6x All-Star; 5x Silver Slugger; 1x Gold Glove; 3x Batting Title; 2017 AL MVP; 2017 World Series Champion; 2019 ALCS MVP
2. Howie Kendrick – Utility INF, Washington Nationals
Awards: 1x All-Star; 2019 NLCS MVP
Altuve has enjoyed a much more decorated career than Kendrick over a shorter time span. He may be a future Hall of Fame candidate if he stays healthy.
Let’s take a look at the regular season and 2019 postseason numbers to see how these two players have fared.
2019 Regular Season
Altuve did not produce at the levels fans have been accustomed to seeing in 2019 since he missed time due to a hamstring injury. However, he did set a career mark with 31 home runs.
Kendrick also missed some time this year with a hamstring strain after suffering a season-ending Achilles tear in 2018 which threatened to end his career. He bounced back to help lead the Nationals to an NL pennant, putting together some impressive Triple Crown numbers during the regular season campaign.
While fans have been buzzing about the possibility that MLB has de-juiced the postseason baseballs, you wouldn’t know it from Altuve’s numbers. Kendrick has not been slugging at his regular-season levels but has come through in the clutch with 9 RBI.
The 2019 World Series will kick off at 8:08 PM ET on Tuesday from Minute Maid Park in Houston. Matchup: TBD vs. Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA).
I grew up a Cubs fan in Northwest Illinois and became an avid follower of the team during the Sosa-McGwire home run chase. Now I am the #1 Cubs fan in Toronto, Canada. You can find me on Twitter @Troll_Hamels (personal) and @farnorthsider (blog).