Yankees to Send Masahiro Tanaka Against Astros in Game 1

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is introduced before Game

The Yankees have already lined up their starters through Game 4, with Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray following Tanaka, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

But Keuchel has pitched better than most against the Yankees in recent years, going 4-2 with a 1.41 ERA and 45 strikeouts in six regular-season starts. The last time the Astros made it to a championship series was back in 2005, and that was before their 2013 switch over to the American League.

Masahiro Tanaka will start game one for the Yankees on Friday. In Game 4, their pitchers' fastballs averaged a staggering 98 miles per hour, never once dipping below 96 - and that was with Chapman, who sometimes touches 102 and 103 miles per hour, not even participating.

"I just couldn't get out of my head: 'I didn't think I'd be here". He struck out seven and scattered three hits over six innings to get the win in Houston's first trip to the postseason in a decade after years of rebuilding and losing.

The Cardinals are the only National League team with more than one World Series appearance against the Yankees to have a winning record against the Bronx Bombers, capturing three of their five Series meetings, the last coming in 1964.

Pitching opposite Tanaka will be Houston's ace Keuchel. He went 8-for-15 in the division series and homered three times in Game 1, prompting Red Sox star Mookie Betts to best sum up the challenge of figuring out how to beat Altuve: "I'm not exactly sure what a game plan for him is". It's not a stretch to imagine this series being decided by what happens when the Yankees' powerful bullpen goes to work against the most relentless offense in the game. The Astros have homefield advantage against the Yankees. Yankees hitters are 19-for-103 (.184) with four walks and 35 strikeouts against him. "But I think it's just a coincidence that my command and location have been better than what it usually is against them". But that could also mean that they're ripe for a Game 1 letdown.

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). Verlander has been impeccable on the mound since joining the Astros from the Tigers at the end of August, and he tossed six strong innings in Game 1 of the ALDS against Boston. The Astros will score early and ride Keuchel to a 5-2 victory.



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