MIAMI (AP) — The Yankees slugger choked up.

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    Giancarlo Stanton acknowledged being touched by the warm reception he received the first time he stepped to the plate Tuesday at Marlins Park.He saluted the crowd Alex Smith Jersey Elite , waved and patted his chest as he looked to the stands. He then singled sharply to left field.“It’s a lot to take in,” Stanton said. “A lot of things go into this — where I’m at now. I grew up over there.”Over there is the Marlins clubhouse, where Stanton spent his first eight major league seasons before being traded last November. That made the Yankees’ two-game series in Miami his homecoming.Stanton went 2 for 6, missing his 300th career home run by a few feet when he doubled in the fifth, and the Yankees won 2-1 in 12 innings.Before the game, he sat in the visitors’ dugout before batting practice, which gave him a different angle of Marlins Park’s kitschy, colossal home sculpture.“I still don’t like it,” he said with a laugh. “But it won’t be going off if I hit one.”Stanton activated the moveable sculpture more than any other player before leaving the Marlins. Speaking of himself in the plural, he said it was weird but good to be back, and said he harbored no hard feelings about the way his time with the Marlins ended after eight seasons.“We know what the situation is over there now, and how it was,” he said. “We understand.”The situation is that former Yankees shortstop and new Marlins CEO Derek Jeter rebooted the woebegone Miami franchise, trading away several big contracts for prospects with the goal of becoming competitive in a few years. Stanton, coming off a 59-homer MVP season, wanted no part of a rebuilding project and approved a trade to the Yanks.Now he’s likely to make the playoffs for the first time, while the Marlins are headed for a ninth consecutive losing season.“I hope they’ll figure it out,” Stanton said. “I hope they get it turned around. It will take a couple of years. But if the pieces are put together right , I think they’ll turn it around.”Jeter didn’t talk with the media before the series opener. But Marlins manager Don Mattingly acknowledged it has been different without Stanton — and without Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon, who were also traded.“You miss all those guys,” Mattingly said. “Some good players went out the door as we embarked on building this thing to the level we wanted and trying to build some continuity and sustainability. You knew you were going to miss all those guys.”Stanton began the week batting .285 with 32 homers and 80 RBIs — stats comparable to his time in Miami.He reminisced about hitting at Marlins Park when it was still a construction site before opening in 2012. He said he’ll do no sightseeing during his brief stay in Miami, but will spend time with former teammates and friends.He has many in Miami, as the ovation in the first inning showed.“That was really cool — definitely more than I could ask for,” Stanton said. “That’s going to be one of the more special moments of my career.” Two of the most decorated franchises in Major League Baseball are still alive in the postseason.The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox have 31 World Series appearances between them, while their opponents, the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers, have been to a combined three World Series.After the first two games of the ALCS and NLCS, the Dodgers and Astros appear to be in the best shape to advance to the Fall Classic since they each picked up a road victory.If the Astros and Dodgers make it to the World Series, they’ll participate in the first World Series rematch since 1978, when the Dodgers took on the Yankees (New Yorkwon both).Boston is aiming to get back to the World Series for the first time since winning the championship in 2013, while Milwaukee is in search of its first Fall Classic berth since 1982.2018 World Series ScheduleGame 1:Tuesday, October 23 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 2:Wednesday, October 24 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 3:Friday Authentic Matt Ioannidis Jersey , October 26 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 4:Saturday, October 27 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 5:Sunday, October 28 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 6:Tuesday, October 30 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 7:Wednesday, October 31 (Time TBD, Fox) PicksLos Angeles DodgersBefore the NLCS began, the Brewers appeared to have an advantage because of their hot bats, home field and strong bullpen.In two games, the Dodgers erased that home-field advantage by winning Game 2, held the Brewers to a .269 batting average and scored eight runs off Milwaukee’s relievers.The Dodgers could take a commanding 2-1 lead Monday, with the impressive Walker Buehler starting.Jeff Roberson/Associated PressJustinTurner’s game-winning home run in Game 2 might turn out to be the most important play of the series. Leadoff hitter Chris Taylor leads the series with five hits, and Manny Machado has a home run and three RBI out of the cleanup hole.Adding Turner’s production out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup makes the Dodgers even more difficult to contain, and it puts the pressure on Milwaukee to match that level of production.One of the biggest concerns for the Brewers heading into the three games at Dodger Stadium is Christian Yelich’s cold streak at the plate.The National League MVP front-runner has one hit in eight at-bats and has struck out on three occasions, while Ryan Braun is also 1-for-8 in the heart of the Milwaukee order.The other problem the Brewers have to deal with is the effectiveness of their bullpen and how manager Craig Counsell arranges his pitchers after he takes out his starter.Counsell removed Gio Gonzalez and Wade Miley earlier than he should have in Games 1 and 2 Matt Ioannidis Jersey Elite , which led to the bullpen being overworked.If the Brewers are able to get quality outings out of their starters, beginning with Jhoulys Chacin in Game 3, they should be able to hold up against a Dodgers team that has a much easier time getting the ball to closer Kenley Jansen because of the long starts out of their staff.However, one slip-up will cost the Brewers, as the Dodgers lineup appears to be finding its form at the perfect time. Boston Red SoxBoston responded to a Game 1 defeat at home with a 7-5 victory at Fenway Park on Sunday night.Although David Price didn’t get credit for the victory, he pitched 4.2 decent innings to keep the Red Sox in the lead.If he’s able to throw five or six innings without being torched by Houston in his next start, the Red Sox will take it.David J. Phillip/Associated PressBefore we can even think about a Chris Sale vs. Justin Verlander rematch of any kind in one or more of the final three games of the ALCS, the focus must shine on Games 3 and 4.Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello will take the mound for the Red Sox against Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton, and while those matchups aren’t the most intriguing on paper, they’re going to make both games tight.Eovaldi is the only pitcher of the quartet with little playoff experience, but he impressed in his first career postseason start in Game 3 of the ALDS.The difference-making bats in the series have yet to emerge, as both teams are hitting .188 through two games despite combining for 21 runs.The Astros will hit more home runs over the course of the series, but the Red Soxwill be able to get more runners on base in order to capitalize on scoring opportunities.American League MVP favorite Mookie Betts will be the catalyst of Boston’s lineup, as he’ll add to his three ALCS hits with seven more in Houston.By setting the tone early through Betts, the Red Sox starters should be able to settle into a rhythm with a lead behind them.By following that path to victory in three of the remaining five games, the Red Sox will advance back to the World Series for a high-profile showdown with the Dodgers.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.

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