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New York Yankees vs Houston Astros: Full Breakdown Of The ALCS

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox during game two of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 6, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Probable Starters

  • Game 1: Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA) vs  Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA)
  • Game 2: Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA)
  • Game 3: CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA) vs TBD
  • Game 4: Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA) vs TBD
  • Game 5-7: TBD vs TBD

This is a department in which the Astros have the edge by an overwhelming amount because of the Game 1-2 duo of Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander.

Players on the current Yankees’ roster own a combined .181/.214/.287 slash line of the dominant left-hander, who owns a career 1.41 ERA in six career starts against them.

Verlander is also not a force to be taken lightly. In five regular-season games with the Astros, he won all five and surrendered just four earned runs in 34 innings pitched (1.06 ERA). The 34-year-old also held the Red Sox to a .241/.324/.414 slash line in two ALDS appearances in which the Astros emerged victoriously. 

Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi decided to skip over Sonny Gray and go with Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino on regular rest in Games 1 and 2. CC Sabathia will start Game 3 and be in line for a potential Game 7, while Gray will go Game 4.

Yes, they shut down the tough Indians lineup which features superstars like Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, but the Astros, have a much stronger, deeper and hotter lineup than the Indians. On the flip side, the Yankees’ lineup was shutout in Game 1 of the ALDS and scored just one in Game 3.

They will not be able to go in with the gameplan of “just keep us in the game.” Girardi needs quality starts and some length. Expect him to manage the bullpen with some desperation — especially in the first two contests in Houston.

Starters Jaime Garcia and Jordan Montgomery, as well as long reliever Adam Warren, will be in the bullpen, so he won’t be afraid to go with a quick hook against a lineup that led the sport with 5.53 runs per game during the regular season. Especially if he;s in need of a big out early on.