Astros vs. Yankees matchups

Astros vs. Yankees matchups

Keuchel shut out NY over six innings in the 2015 AL Wild-Card game and his 1.41 regular-season earned run average against the Yankees is the best of any starter in the last 60 seasons with a minimum of six starts. But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY. The Astros scored the most runs in baseball this season and have a formidable 1-2 at the top of the rotation with Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel.

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.

Masahiro Tanaka will start game one for the Yankees on Friday.

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

In Game 5, the Yankees again did something that might have seemed impossible at an earlier point in the game's evolution: Their hitters struck out 16 times in a 5-2 win - making them the first team in history to win a nine-inning postseason game in which they whiffed that many times. "The Albuquerque Baseball Academy has done a great job of getting people seen and it's been huge in the development of New Mexico baseball players", said Bregman. "I don't think who the names are or who the jersey is, he knows he can get anybody out in the league". The Yankees' last ALCS appearance was in 2012. The Astros took five of those matchups, including a comeback victory at home on July 1.

Skipper Girardi said that Tanaka has had a few really strong starts, as his last two were outstanding. "I was so excited and I was like, 'OK, here we go.' It's not a secret that we had a good team before him, before trading for him, but after we did that it's like, 'OK, now we go, now we got everything we need.' And I was really happy we got him".

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. "But when I was behind the scenes and got to see these young guys play, perform and the way (Aaron) Judge came out this year, it's no surprise they're in the position they're in". It will be a challenge for the 25-year-old MVP co-favorite to rediscover his swing in such a short amount of time.

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. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can". Tanaka could help prevent that, and he has quietly pitched well since the All-Star break, posting a 3.77 ERA and three-hitting the Indians over seven scoreless innings to save the Yankees' season in Game 3.

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