Astros starting Keuchel in Game 1, Verlander in Game 2

Posted October 14, 2017

In seven career starts against the Yankees, regular and postseason combined, he is 5-2 with a 1.24 ERA and 52 strikeouts against only seven walks in 50 2/3 innings, a stretch that includes six shutout innings against them in the 2015 A.L. wild card game, which the Astros won. But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY. "And then he was, 'Yes, we did.' I remember I saw my phone and MLB At Bat said, 'OK, Astros acquire Justin Verlander.' And I couldn't believe it", Altuve said.

"Now we are just hours away from the Astros and another big challenge".

Tanaka was 13-12 with a 4.74 ERA in 30 regular-season starts.

While the Astros have a pitching staff full of flamethrowers - bolstered by the addition of former Cy Young Award victor Justin Verlander in August - they have chosen lefty Dallas Keuchel, the softest-tossing pitcher on their staff (88.7 miles per hour average fastball), to start Game 1 for them Friday night, opposite Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

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"I have a ton of confidence in him", Girardi said of Tanaka. On the other hand, Aaron Judge struck out in 16 of his 20 at-bats versus the Indians. So if I wait until game three, you don't know if you're going to get there.

Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh is on the team's roster for their ALCS matchup against the New York Yankees.

Houston is the overwhelming favorite to win this series due to the strong pitching the Astros have and a strong hitting lineup led by MVP favorite Jose Altuve.

Verlander's performance afforded the bullpen a five-run edge entering the seventh, which proved to be all the breathing room the home team needed. "And there's a lot of times that he really gets on a roll and he puts a bunch of them together and we're going to need a good one from him tomorrow".

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With all of the attention on Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer, look for someone like Marwin Gonzalez to step up in the ALCS for the Astros.

Chatter about Girardi's future in the Bronx has been muffled since the Yankees became only the 10th team to win a best-of-five series after dropping the first two games. "I love being able to represent them and I try and play, I play hard everyday all the people that have helped me in New Mexico to get to this point", said Houston third baseman Alex Bregman. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can".

McHugh, who went 5-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 12 starts during an injury-plagued season, had been the odd-man out when manager A.J Hinch went with only 11 pitchers for their AL Division Series win over Boston. Left-hander CC Sabathia will start Game 3 when the series moves to NY, and right-hander Sonny Gray will pitch Game 4. Houston's hasn't announced its rotation past Saturday.

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