Sport

Breaking down Yankees-Astros: How big an edge is Girardi?

Breaking down Yankees-Astros: How big an edge is Girardi?

Chicago ended up coming away with a huge 3-0 shutout in game one of the series against National's ace Stephen Strasburg. Other than the inexplicable meltdown in Game 2 of the ALDS, the Yankees' relievers have been just about flawless.

It is also a story of divergent underdogs, with the Wild Card-winning Yankees regularly rebuilding and rebooting on the run this season to reach their first ALCS since 2012.

The Astros lead the season series 5-2 and the total went under in the first two meetings, but since has gone over the last five times. No other starting pitchers have been announced.

-David Robertson came out of the bullpen in the fifth to give NY the first 2 2/3 innings of 4 2/3 innings of no-hit relief.




Once in Cleveland, the Yankees were carried by Didi Gregorius, who hit two home runs in the first three innings to give NY a 3-0 lead.

The Astros, by virtue of winning their ALDS in four, will have been off for three days before they face NY, giving their bullpen (which certainly wasn't overtaxed) time to regroup. Masahiro Tanaka has been unhittable at Yankee Stadium, allowing six earned runs in 49 innings over his last seven home starts. He attributed that to the attraction of the Yankees plus the certainty of knowing that the first two games of the series would be played in Houston.

Pitching Game 1 for NY will be Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA), while Houston goes with Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90). It was Frazier, still fairly new to the club, who said before all of them, "We have your back". Houston advanced to the ALCS by downing the Red Sox in four games in their ALDS series, clinching it with a 5-4 win Monday in Boston. The Astros have homefield advantage against the Yankees. Houston is also 4-1 in their last five versus the AL East and 4-1 in they last five league championship games. Home-grown talent like Keuchel, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and George Springer have turned into some of the best players in baseball. NY finished second behind Houston in runs, total bases and on-base percentage. Being able to use David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Aroldis Chapman across multiple innings kept the Yankees in their ALDS matchup. Sonny Gray (3.11 ERA on the road) and Luis Severino (2.24 ERA on the road) would make sense as the team's Game 1 and Game 2 starters. But the best remaining bullpen in the AL shapes up well.

Verlander won all five regular-season starts for Houston with a sparkling 1.06 ERA.


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