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2017 ALCS Game 5 Preview: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Lance McCullers to the rescue.

League Championship Series - Houston Astros v New York Yankees - Game Four Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

2017 American League Championship Series, Game 5

Houston Astros (2-2) vs. New York Yankees (2-2), Oct. 18, 2017, 4:08 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

LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-0, 0.71 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, .250 BABIP, 2.12 xFIP in the playoffs) vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 1.38 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, .206 BABIP, 3.45 xFIP in the playoffs)


Preview

WHAT THE HELL? The Astros at one point led the American League Championship Series 2-0. And led game four 4-0? WHAT HAPPENED? Well the Yankees happened. A team that stats-wise was equal to the Astros. A team that has name-brands in three of their four starting pitching spots. The Baby Bombers showed their potential in three games.

But all is not lost. The Astros still have the arguably the deepest lineup in baseball and Dallas Keuchel start in Game 5.

Dallas Keuchel has straight up owned the Yankees, especially in the playoffs. Keuchel is 6-2 with a 1.09 ERA with 62 strikeouts and eight walks in eight career starts (two playoff starts). The 1.09 ERA is the lowest all-time against the Yankees in at least 50 innings pitched against New York. Keuchel has pitched 13 scoreless innings in two playoff starts.

Masahiro Tanaka, the $155 million dollar man, has been worth every dollar in the 2017 playoffs. Tanaka allowed two runs over six innings in game one against the Astros.

But Tanaka is 0-2 with 10.38 ERA in four regular season career starts against the Astros. The Astros will either get to the norm against Tanaka in game 5 or we can start talking choke with Houston.

Hitting trends

Starlin Castro and Chase Headley each have eight strikeouts against Keuchel. Aaron Hicks is 2-for-11 with a home run and Aaron Judge is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Yankees career stats against Dallas Keuchel

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
Chase Headley 22 6 1 0 1 4 0 8 0.273 0.273 0.455 0.727
Starlin Castro 14 2 1 0 0 2 0 8 0.143 0.143 0.214 0.357
Jacoby Ellsbury 16 2 0 0 0 1 1 3 0.125 0.176 0.125 0.301
Didi Gregorius 10 2 1 0 0 0 0 4 0.200 0.200 0.300 0.500
Aaron Hicks 11 2 0 0 1 1 3 3 0.182 0.357 0.455 0.812
Austin Romine 3 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.667 0.667 1.000 1.667
Matt Holliday 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.143 0.143 0.143 0.286
Greg Bird 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Brett Gardner 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Aaron Judge 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Gary Sanchez 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Carlos Correa is 5-for-10 with a two home runs and George Springer is 4-for-9 with two home runs against Tanaka.

Astros career stats against Masahiro Tanaka

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
Carlos Correa 10 5 0 0 2 5 1 2 0.500 0.545 1.100 1.645
Jose Altuve 11 4 1 0 1 1 0 1 0.364 0.364 0.727 1.091
George Springer 9 4 0 0 2 3 2 1 0.444 0.545 1.111 1.657
Carlos Beltran 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1.5 2.5
Alex Bregman 2 1 0 0 1 4 1 0 0.500 0.667 2.000 2.667
Marwin Gonzalez 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400
Josh Reddick 4 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0.250 0.250 1.000 1.250
Preston Tucker 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.250 0.400 0.500 0.900
Evan Gattis 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Yuli Gurriel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 1.000 0.000 1.000
Cameron Maybin 8 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.111 0.000 0.111
Brian McCann 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Keys to success

Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve

The heart of the Astros lineup hasn’t been able to get it going in New York. Yes, the Yankees are pitching around both players and both players are pressing with less-than-ideal pitches. But Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have had their big games in The Bronx, it's time for Correa and Altuve to punch back.

Brad Peacock

Peacock will likely be the first pitcher called upon out of the pen if Keuchel struggles. Peacock is 0-0 with a 16.20 ERA in two relief appearances at Yankee Stadium (3 ER, 1 23 IP).

Dallas Keuchel

The Astros need a Cy Young level start to save the Astros season. Plain and simple. In Keuchel, we trust.