Yankees, Astros Game 1 ALCS lineups | Joe Girardi makes big change

Yankees, Astros Game 1 ALCS lineups | Joe Girardi makes big change

The ALCS is going to be close, but if the Astros can start strong behind Keuchel and Verlander, they could be able to take one game from Yankee Stadium and come home with a chance to clinch a World Series berth in Game 6.

And assuming Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge are the top two finishers in the AL MVP race, it will mark the fourth ALCS in the past 25 years to feature both the MVP and runner-up.

Houston seems to have the upper hand entering Game 1 with Dallas Keuchel leading the charge on the mound.

If the Astros win: They will keep rolling, especially at home, where they outscored the Boston Red Sox by a 16-4 margin in the first two games of their division series.

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Verlander v. Severino: In Game 2, Luis Severino starts for the Yankees while Justin Verlander starts for the Astros. He allowed three hits and struck out seven in seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory. 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.

So, this season marks the first trip to the ALCS for the Astros, and it is also the first trip for two local guys on the roster.

"It's just been a culmination of command, location, maybe a little more confidence", Keuchel said of his success. Jeff says this is a longer series than the five-game ALDS. Then his next start would be game seven. Yankees hitters are 19-for-103 (.184) with four walks and 35 strikeouts against him. So if I wait until game three, you don't know if you're going to get there. "But I think it's just a coincidence that my command and location have been better than what it usually is against them". Left-hander CC Sabathia will start Game 3 when the series moves to NY, and right-hander Sonny Gray will pitch Game 4. Look for experienced leadoff man Brett Gardner to set the tone in multiple games by putting together tough at-bats against the Houston pitching staff.