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October Confidential: Astros vs. Royals

MLB.com

Fresh off their victory over the Yankees to jump-start the postseason, the Astros travel to Kansas City to begin the American League Division Series vs. the reigning AL champion Royals on Thursday.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

Fresh off their victory over the Yankees to jump-start the postseason, the Astros travel to Kansas City to begin the American League Division Series vs. the reigning AL champion Royals on Thursday.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

HOUSTON ASTROS
Jose Altuve
"He's a pest. He really is. Altuve swings at every single pitch and he gets a hit at every single pitch. You almost want to throw the ball down the middle and hope he pops it up because he hits good breaking balls really well and he hits fastballs with movement really well. You honestly don't know what to do with him sometimes. He's a Vladimir Guerrero-type hitter, and he's got power. You can't get fancy with him. If you do, he gets hits. If you can keep Altuve off the bases, which isn't easy to do at all, you're going to win."
-- AL West catcher

:: ALDS: Astros vs. Royals -- Tune-in info ::

Luke Gregerson
"Gregerson's tough, because he obviously has one of the best sliders in the game, but he doesn't get enough credit for his fastball. His fastball has such good downward movement, really good dive. Honestly, I think his fastball is his best pitch."
-- AL West infielder

Pat Neshek
"Funky. That's the biggest thing is his deception. He's just a funky, funky pitcher with really good stuff. His fastball, he's got his velocity back. His slider to righties and his changeup to lefties are big weapons."
-- AL West infielder

Read the complete Astros October Confidential » 

KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Yordano Ventura
"He's got an electric arm. The kid throws hard and you just have to try to rattle his cage quick. You don't want him settling in and getting on the same page with [catcher Salvador Perez], because then it becomes no fun for the hitter."
-- AL infielder

:: October Confidential -- Select a club ::

Mike Moustakas
"The big thing is he's used the whole field this year. He's really driven the ball to the gaps. He's always been a really good fastball hitter, but by staying to the bigger part of the field, he's been able to sit on offspeed pitches a lot better. At the beginning of the season, we were shifting him. The last series, we couldn't really shift on him."
-- AL Central catcher

Salvador Perez
"He's a very aggressive hitter. If you make a mistake, he doesn't miss. We have our game plans against him, but with him, you can make a phenomenal pitch and he can still hurt you. He's got some real pull-side power and he hits offspeed pitches in the zone."
-- AL Central catcher

Read the complete Royals October Confidential » 

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals