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2017 ALCS Game 3 Preview: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

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Charlie Morton for the win.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at New York Yankees Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2017 American League Championship Series, Game 3

Houston Astros (2-0) vs. New York Yankees (0-2), Oct. 16, 2017, 7:08 p.m. CDT

Location: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York

TV: FS1

Radio: Streaming 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 Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .294 BABIP, 3.58 xFIP) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .276 BABIP, 4.11 xFIP)


Preview

The Houston Astros enter Monday’s game at an all time high. The Astros’ two aces showed how they can dominate a series after two games with Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander.

Houston goes for the kill in game 3 and dominating 3-0 lead in the four game series with Charlie Morton on the mound.

Pitching matchup

Charlie Morton enters the game with a strong finish to the season with a 4-1 record and 2.54 ERA in five starts during the month of September. He allowed two runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings in Game four of the ALDS against the Red Sox.

Morton is 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees, including one start in 2017. He allowed four runs on 5 2/3 innings in that one start.

CC Sabathia starts opposite Morton. Sabathia has been solid for the Yanks in the second half of the season, he is 7-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 13 starts. He is 7-2 with a 4.20 ERA in 13 home starts.

Sabathia was serviceable in September at 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA in five starts. Sabathia is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three career starts against the Astros. He didn't face the Astros in 2017.

Hitting trends

Three of the Astros veterans have the most experience against Sabathia: Carlos Beltran (8-for-35), Brian McCann (2-for-10), and Josh Reddick (2-for-19) with little success. Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez are both 1-for-3 with a home run.

A former NL Central foe for Morton, Starlin Castro, is second on the Yankees roster with career at-bats against Morton is 12-for-30 with three home runs and nine RBIs.

Keys to success

Pitch count

Charlie Morton appeared like he was getting stronger in his one playoff start. But the Red Sox worked up his pitching count to get him out the game early. If Morton can find early success it will go a long way to helping the Astros get one step closer to closign out the series.

Bullpen

The Astros have needed only Chris Devenski and Ken Giles out of the bullpen in the ALCS. But Houston will likely need more in game three.

Marwin Gonzalez

For all the successful things Marwin Gonzalez has done in the playoffs. He hasn't done enough at the plate. He is 3-for-21 with two RBIs. Houston needs more.