Sports

Houston sends Keuchel to hill in ALCS Game 1 vs. Yankees

Houston sends Keuchel to hill in ALCS Game 1 vs. Yankees

Manager A.J. Hinch announced Wednesday that Dallas Keuchel will start Game 1 and Justin Verlander will start Game 2. In order to earn a trip back to the World Series, their first since 2005, the Astros will have to get past a ball club that has won 40 American League pennants.

Major League Baseball's postseason continues on Friday when the New York Yankees visit the Houston Astros for Game 1 of their best of seven American League Championship series, with the victor of the series moving on to represent the league in the World Series.

Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74) vs.

"I remember I was at home that day and my brother told me, "Hey, we got him", and I was like, "No, we didn't". On the other hand, Aaron Judge struck out in 16 of his 20 at-bats versus the Indians.

The Yankees' bullpen depth has rescued them this postseason, beginning in the wild card game against Minnesota, when starter Luis Severino was yanked after recording just one out, leaving 26 outs for the bullpen to cover - which it did, with 10 from Robertson, seven from Kahnle, six from Green and the last three from Chapman. Judge has been part of a close MVP race with Jose Altuve. Gonzalez only hit.200 in the ALDS, but he'll get more pitches to hit than those further up the lineup and a clutch hit or two could turn the tide of the series.

The Astros tacked on two runs in the sixth thanks to a two-run single from catcher Brian McCann, which was more than enough cushion for a pitching staff that was generally sharp.

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First Two Games: The first two games (both at home) are key for the Astros, in which they'll have their best two pitchers starting.

"I have a ton of confidence in him", Girardi said of Tanaka.

The matchup that matters most: It's the postseason, so the bullpens will be a series-long storyline.

The Yankees will need that resolve again with the Astros perhaps even a tougher opponent than the Indians. Yankees hitters are 19-for-103 (.184) with four walks and 35 strikeouts against him. "They're aggressive on the base paths, so you have to control that". "I was the guy who provided that little bit of information for (Gregorius on adjustments)". But that could also mean that they're ripe for a Game 1 letdown. But New York showed itself as a force to be reckoned with by rallying from two games down to oust the Indians.

Prediction: Astros in six games. The Astros will score early and ride Keuchel to a 5-2 victory.

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