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2017 ALCS Game 2 Preview: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Verlander Day, here we go.

MLB: ALCS-New York Yankees at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

2017 American League Championship Series, Game 2

Houston Astros (1-0) vs. New York Yankees (0-1), Oct. 14, 2017, 3:08 p.m. CDT

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
TV: FOX
Radio: stream on MLB At Bat app, 790 KBME AM, ESPN Deportes 1230
Online: MLB.TV, Fox Sports Go
Yankees SBNation Blog: Pinstripe Alley


Pitching Matchup

RHP Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .217 BABIP, 4.17 xFIP) vs. RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .272 BABIP, 3.04 xFIP)


Preview

The Houston Astros could’t be a better spot right now. Dallas Keuchel again dominated the Yankees and now the Astros turn to Justin Verlander, who is undefeated as an Astros.

Pitching matchup

Justin Verlander makes a start game two after making his first career major league relief temperance in game four of the ALDS with the Boston Red Sox. There is no knowing how that will effect Verlander until he takes the mound.

That said, looking at Verlander’s track record with the Astros and the playoffs, Houston looks to be in good shape in game two. Verlander is 9-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 18 career playoff appearances (17 starts). He is 3-2 with a 3.55 ERA in five career starts in the ALCS. It is the fourth time that Verlander has faced the Yankees in the playoffs (2006, 2011, 2012). There is nothing intimating about playoff baseball against the team with the pinstripes on for Verlander. Derek Jeter isn’t walking through that door anytime soon.

On the opposite end Luis Severino's track record isn't strong in the playoffs and against the Astros. He 1-0 with as 7.36 ERA in two starts in the 2017 playoffs and he has allowed nine runs over 7 2/3 innings in two starts against this season.

Hitting trends

Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-5) and Cameron Maybin (1-for-6) each have a home run off Severino. Carlos Correa is 3-for-4 with tow doubles.

Astros career stats against Luis Severino

BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Yuli Gurriel 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.800 0.800 1.000 1.800
Carlos Correa 4 3 2 0 0 3 2 1 0.750 0.833 1.250 2.083
Josh Reddick 7 3 2 0 0 1 1 1 0.429 0.500 0.714 1.214
Marwin Gonzalez 5 2 0 0 1 3 1 1 0.400 0.500 1.000 1.500
Jose Altuve 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.333
Carlos Beltran 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.333 0.333 0.667 1
Evan Gattis 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.500 0.500 0.500 1.000
Cameron Maybin 6 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0.167 0.286 0.667 0.952
George Springer 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 0.167 0.286 0.333 0.619
Alex Bregman 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Brian McCann 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333
Preston Tucker 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Chase Headly has been inserted into the lineup at DH because he has hit Verlander well in his career. He is 6-for-15 with three extra-base hits.

Yankees career stats against Justin Verlander

BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
BATTER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Brett Gardner 26 7 0 0 1 2 3 5 0.269 0.345 0.385 0.729
Jacoby Ellsbury 27 6 2 0 0 3 3 1 0.222 0.281 0.296 0.578
Chase Headley 15 6 1 1 1 1 0 5 0.4 0.4 0.8 1.2
Todd Frazier 17 5 0 0 2 4 0 5 0.294 0.294 0.647 0.941
Matt Holliday 7 3 1 0 0 1 3 1 0.429 0.600 0.571 1.171
Didi Gregorius 6 2 1 0 1 1 3 1 0.333 0.556 1.000 1.556
Starlin Castro 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Aaron Hicks 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Keys to success

Home field advantage

This series can look a whole lot different if the Yankees pull out a victory heading home. The Houston fans must have their impact felt before the series shifts to New York. The roof is closed, so make it loud.

Chase Headly

We’ve already hit on it. Headly is 6-for-15 with three extra-base hits in his career against Verlander. He has to make the most of his time in the lineup. There isn’t many buttons that Joe Girardi that can spark this offense.

Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa has hit Luis Severino. But these reason he is key is the fact that he is likely on of the best players on the team for turning around a fast ball. Severino was averaging around 98-99 MPH his last start. Correa can catch up with it.