October 23, 2017

The Dodgers have platooned at second base this year, with the righty-swinging Forsythe and the lefty-swinging Chase Utley each starting 68 times. So far in the postseason, Forsythe has stated five games and come off the bench twice, hitting .316/.458/.368 with three RBIs in 19 PA.

An Andrew Friedman favorite dating back to their time in Tampa Bay, the 30-year-old Forsythe missed five weeks due to a broken right big toe and never really found a groove. His defense (+5 DRS in 80 games at second base) and a patient approach, which yielded team highs in walk rate (15.7%) and pitches per plate appearance (4.37, fourth among NL players with at least 300 PA) are what keeps him in the lineup. Nonetheless, his 82 OPS+ was the lowest of any Dodger at that cutoff, and while he raked against lefties (.290/.418/.452 in 153 PA), he flailed against righties (.190/.215/.262 in 286 PA). 

What’s left to say about Altuve, the likely AL MVP and the most fun man in the Astros’ lineup? The pint-sized slugger put up an astonishing .346/.410/.547 line in the regular season and hasn’t slowed down in the playoffs, hitting .400/.500/.775 with a team-high five home runs. Altuve demolishes fastballs (.368 against four-seamers) and is equally adept at breaking pitches (.328 on sliders, .431 on curveballs). He’s also a terrific base runner and a solid if unspectacular defender at second. He’s the whole package.

Edge: Astros

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