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ibusinesslines.com October 23, 2017


Yankees hurler Tanaka to start ACLS Game 1 in Houston

13 October 2017, 06:25 | Charlene Valdez

Ross D. Franklin AP

Ross D. Franklin  AP

Which isn't to say that they're some historic Cinderella story.

"The Yankees pitching isn't mediocre, but this team that they are facing now is even more powerful and potent than Cleveland". Correa hit.500 against the Yankees with two home runs and 10 RBIs in seven regular-season games this season. They're a strong match for the Astros and this ALCS appears to be an utter tossup. I didn't think I'd be back in Cleveland at all, ' " the longtime Yankees analyst said Thursday morning after arriving in Houston overnight. Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, David Robertson, Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle - where does the string of power arms end?

The Astros had three position starters in the ALDS vs. the Red Sox with an OPS above 1.000 - Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel and George Springer. But that could also mean that they're ripe for a Game 1 letdown.

Each club features a deep lineup, with any number of bats who could inflict game-changing damage. But Judge has had a tough time, going just 1 for 20 with 16 strikeouts in the five-game win over Cleveland. He's been picked up, however, by ALDS Game 5 hero Didi Gregorius as well as Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird. He got to the World Series once, in 2013 with the St. Louis Cardinals when they lost to the Boston Red Sox in six games. "Come to the field pretty early", said Alex Bregman.

For all of the similarities between the teams, there is at least a little daylight between them when it comes to the starting pitching, at least a difference in kind if not overall quality.

Unlike the pitcher, manager A.J. Hinch didn't shy away from singing Keuchel's praises for his work against the Yankees. After that it's somewhat fluid, with some combination of Brad Peacock, Charlie Morton and possibly Lance McCullers slotting in Games 3, 4 and 5.


One team needed to win three consecutive elimination games in order to keep its season going, while the other has been home and resting for a few days waiting to get back in action.

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. 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.

Masahiro Tanaka is an ace to be sure, but he had an overall down year and has struggled mightily on the road (6.38 ERA in 15 starts), so he'll be closely watched as he takes the bump in Minute Maid Park tonight.

In the other AL series game, Aaron Judge capped a four-run second inning with a two-run double, and NY capitalized on shoddy defense by Cleveland to even the AL Division Series at two games apiece. With Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock filling out the Astros rotation, the depth advantage goes to the Yankees. So one way of guaranteeing him one start at home is one and five. The last of those seven games came on July 2, however, so don't put too much weight in the predictive power of their previous matchups.

Dallas Keuchel is exhausted of talking about his success against the New York Yankees. That and the fact they scored 43 runs in piling up a 5-2 record versus the Yanks in the regular season.

Coming in to the playoffs, it seemed like the Astros and Indians were the alpha dogs in the American League. The Yankees' hopes lie in keeping games close and turning them over to what is probably baseball's best bullpen.



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