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gpolit.com December 13, 2017


Houston sends Keuchel to hill in ALCS Game 1 vs. Yankees

14 October 2017, 12:24 | Ken Black

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrating a win

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrating a win

Keuchel's 1.41 ERA against the Yankees ranks first among active pitchers who have made at least five starts against them.

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi paid respect to the Houston Astros, particularly second baseman Jose Altuve. 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.

Where do the Astros advantages in this series lie?

Luis Severino will be New York's starter for Game 2 on Saturday, while on Monday in New York CC Sabathia will get the nod for the Yankees followed by Sonny Gray taking the mound in Game 4. He tossed seven shut-out innings with seven strikeouts in a game three win over the Indians. 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. In particular, it will bear watching how a Yankees bullpen loaded with hard-throwing relievers fares against an Astros offense that mashed heaters to the tune of.301/.373/.525 during the regular season. On the other hand, Aaron Judge struck out in 16 of his 20 at-bats versus the Indians. 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".

"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. "They're aggressive on the base paths, so you have to control that". I didn't think I'd be back in Cleveland at all, ' " the longtime Yankees analyst said Thursday morning after arriving in Houston overnight. Then his next start would be game seven.

Start with the starters and their co-ace, Dallas Keuchel. This isn't the time to start betting against them.



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