Astros-Yankees: Seven Things To Know Before The ALCS

Astros-Yankees: Seven Things To Know Before The ALCS

Astros-Yankees: Seven Things To Know Before The ALCS

Keuchel, who ended the Yankees' previous postseason experience in the 2015 wild-card game, will start Game 1 after Verlander closed out the Red Sox in the ALDS. But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY. Not only is Keuchel 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA over his past four starts, including a win over Boston in Game 2, but he is also arguably the most prolific Yankee-slayer among starting pitchers in modern times.

"It's two really good teams going head-to-head", said Astros catcher Brian McCann, who was a Yankee just 11 months ago.

Perhaps no single Yankees player has as much at stake this early in his career, and bearing in mind how the Astros ripped into Game 1 starter Tanaka when they faced him in the regular season - eight runs and four home runs in 1.2 innings on May 25 - Severino's start could be huge.

"I know there's a confidence level", Hinch said.

The Yankees begin that challenge Friday night with the start of the ALCS after rallying from an 0-2 deficit against the heavily favored Indians.

"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.

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"Oh, he's a great player, and he's been for a number of years here", Girardi said. He bounced back this year despite neck issues, posting a 14-5 record with a 2.90 ERA to help the Astros run away with the AL West title. He got a win as a starter and one in relief against Boston, giving up three runs in 8 2/3 innings.

Verlander's performance afforded the bullpen a five-run edge entering the seventh, which proved to be all the breathing room the home team needed. That's seven homers allowed in his last 10 innings. "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".

Altuve has kept up his blistering pace in the postseason, where he's hitting.533 with three homers and four RBIs. I think when you look at them it's a complete lineup throughout. Jeff says this is a longer series than the five-game ALDS. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can".

Much of the reason that NY was able to let go of McCann was another young slugger, 24-year-old catcher Gary Sanchez (33 homers this season, 53 in 177 career games).

Luis Severino will start Game 2 on Saturday.

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