Jose Altuve ran away with the AL batting title.
The AL West race wasn’t any closer.
Altuve coasted to his third AL batting crown despite going hitless in two at-bats and the Houston Astros rallied for their 101st win on Sunday, cruising into the playoffs with a 4-3 victory over Boston in a preview of the Division Series matchup.
“This is the first time I’ve won a batting title and the team’s going to go to the playoffs,” said Altuve, who is also among the favorites for the AL MVP.
“I think every single player in the big leagues, after they win a World Series, would like to win an MVP. That would make me really proud. But to me we’re still in the middle of the season and haven’t done what we want to do.”
The Astros posted their best record since earning 102 victories in 1998, winning the division by 21 games over the second-place Los Angeles Angels. The best-of-five ALDS against Boston begins Thursday in Houston.
Altuve finished the season with a .346 average to easily win the batting title over Avasail Garcia of the Chicago White Sox; Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon was the best in the NL, at .331.
“He’s just been consistent,” Astros starter Collin McHugh (5-2) said. “He’s as consistent a player as there is in major league baseball.”