Astros-Yankees: Seven Things To Know Before The ALCS

Georgia Reed
October 14, 2017

The best-of-seven series will feature the two highest-scoring offenses in baseball this season - with the Astros' 896 runs representing the most by any team in almost a decade - as well as the two bullpens with the highest strikeout rates.

Pitching opposite Tanaka will be Houston's ace Keuchel. "I don't really care who we're facing, it's going to be that order".

Fifty-six per cent of fastballs over 97 m.p.h. this post-season have been thrown by Yankees, and in an all-hands-on-deck series, Chapman better be prepared for more two-inning saves as was the case in Game 5 of the ALDS.

The Yankees threw 4,826 pitches 95 miles per hour or higher, the most in the AL. He struck out seven and scattered three hits over six innings to get the win in Houston's first trip to the postseason in a decade after years of rebuilding and losing. Four of those strikeouts Wednesday night belonged to Judge, who hit just.050 with 16 strikeouts in 20 at-bats in the series. Often, their first pinch-hitter off the bench is Carlos Beltran, a future Hall-of-Famer with 435 career homers.

If the Astros win: They will keep rolling, especially at home, where they outscored the Boston Red Sox by a 16-4 margin in the first two games of their division series.

"It's a complete lineup throughout", Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said of the Astros. In other words, they've become very disciplined at the plate and are aggressive about it. "They're going to hit their home runs, but they're going to do a lot of other things offensively, so you need to make pitches".

Houston Astros P Dallas Keuchel heads to the mound to start the ALCS at Minute Maid Park tonight. The key will be if they can get their starters to go deep into games - instead of lasting only to the third or fourth inning.

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Keuchel, who ended the Yankees' previous postseason experience in the 2015 wild-card game, will start Game 1 after Verlander closed out the Red Sox in the ALDS.

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

"Just because it's the Yankees you kind of get a little more amped and a little more jittery because it is the pinstripes and such a storied organization", Keuchel said.

Justin Verlander has a 1.88 ERA in his last nine postseason starts dating back to 2012. He's 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in the postseason.

"There's so many young guys on this team that maybe they don't realize they are supposed to lose", Singleton said. In particular, it will bear watching how a Yankees bullpen loaded with hard-throwing relievers fares against an Astros offense that mashed heaters to the tune of.301/.373/.525 during the regular season.

"If the Yankees are going to do it against this particular team, they are going to really have to pitch well", Singleton said. Adam Eaton ranks first (.426).

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