Astros-Yankees: Seven Things To Know Before The ALCS

Astros starting Keuchel in Game 1, Verlander in Game 2

It was an unavoidable subject for Houston's ace as he prepares to start against them in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Friday night. But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY. But short of intentionally walking him, as the Red Sox did twice in Game 2 of the division series, taking care to not give him anything to hit early in the count would seem to be the way to go. In an era in which the strikeout is king, Keuchel is a throwback - a sinkerball specialist whose groundball rate of 66.8 percent was by far the highest in the game this season among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched.

"It's just been a culmination of command, location, maybe a little more confidence", Keuchel said of his success.

In 341 regular-season at-bats that ended before the pitcher got to two strikes against him, Altuve batted.446 with a.739 slugging percentage.

"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. Dallas Keuchel will start Game 1 of the ALCS Friday night, and Altuve couldn't have been more pleased.

"Both teams are filled with some great young talent, so it's going to be an exciting series", McCann said. For the postseason, Yankees relievers have posted a 2.20 ERA while striking out 42 batters in 28 2/3 innings and limiting opposing hitters to a.153 batting average and a.474 OPS. That made him 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in four postseason appearances with three starts. He allowed just three hits in seven scoreless innings in his second career postseason game.

Skipper Girardi said that Tanaka has had a few really strong starts, as his last two were outstanding.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is ready to help Houston beat the Yankees after enjoying a banner year.

Beltran has been in 58 career playoff games for five different teams. It will be a challenge for the 25-year-old MVP co-favorite to rediscover his swing in such a short amount of time. The Yankees' full lineup looks like this: Brett Gardner LF, Aaron Judge RF, Gary Sanchez C, Didi Gregorius SS, Starlin Castro 2B, Aaron Hicks CF, Greg Bird 1B, Holliday, Todd Frazier 3B. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can".

In that series, Tanaka pitched for NY in Game 3 allowing 3 hits, while striking out 7 and walking 1 in New York's 1-0 win.

Starting for Houston in Game 2 opposite Severino will be veteran Justin Verlander, who the Astros acquired late in the season from the Detroit Tigers.

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