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

Ross D. Franklin  AP

Also, they will exact some revenge on Keuchel, who shut them out for six innings and outdueled Tanaka in the 2015 wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. To hear Yankees manager Joe Girardi tell it, it was simply a matter of the Indians getting ahead in the count and putting Judge away with pitches that dotted the edges of the plate.

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.

2017 regular-season stats:.264 average, 594 AB, 96 runs, 157 hits, 26 doubles, 4 triples, 21 HR, 63 RBIs, 72 BB, 122 K, 23 SB, 5 CS, 151 games.

Justin Verlander has a 1.88 ERA in his last nine postseason starts dating back to 2012. On the other hand, Aaron Judge struck out in 16 of his 20 at-bats versus the Indians. "But I think it's just a coincidence that my command and location have been better than what it usually is against them". "I mean, especially now seeing me and Bregman having so much success they are going to be more blocks of scouts going down there to find some talent", said Giles. "Then after that is where it gets a little thought-provoking, I guess".

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So, this season marks the first trip to the ALCS for the Astros, and it is also the first trip for two local guys on the roster. Jeff says this is a longer series than the five-game ALDS.

If the game of baseball has entered some new evolutionary realm this season, populated by flame-throwing pitchers and all-or-nothing sluggers who together pushed home run and strikeout totals to record highs, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees represent its pinnacle - the most highly evolved species of this new era of baseball.

Pitching opposite Tanaka will be Houston's ace Keuchel.

The Yankees have already lined up their starters through Game 4, with Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray following Tanaka, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. The Astros will score early and ride Keuchel to a 5-2 victory.

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