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2017 ALCS Game 7 Preview: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

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Astros season is on the brink.

MLB: ALCS-New York Yankees at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2017 American League Championship Series, Game 7

Houston Astros (3-3) vs. New York Yankees (3-3), Oct. 21, 2017, 7:08 p.m. CDT

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
TV: FS1
Radio: Streaming on MLB At Bat app, 790 KBME AM, ESPN Deportes 1230, ESPN Radio
Online: MLB.TV, Fox Sports Go
Yankees SBNation Blog: Pinstripe Alley


Pitching Matchup

RHP Charlie Morton (0-1, 10.13 ERA, 2.13 WHIP, .478 BABIP, 4.12 xFIP in the 2017 Playoffs) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (1-0, 2.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .268 BABIP, 3.17 xFIP)


Preview

Game 7. Win or go home. The scenario that every baseball fan dreams of, coming through in the clutch to help your team move on.

The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will have the weight of the World Series on them. Both teams will turn to their Game 3 starters with Charlie Morton and CC Sabathia.

Even with the Astros win in Game 6, the Yankees faithful will have to be feeling good going with Sabathia. Sabathia has been his old self in the playoffs. He has allowed four earned runs over 15 23 innings during the playoffs. Sabathia also has a great stat coming off Yankee losses. He is he is 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

Charlie Morton gets the call after giving up seven runs on six hits over 3 2⁄3 innings in Game 3 in New York. Morton comes back after a string of weak contract and a freak home run from Todd Frazier. Morton is 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA in two starts during the 2017 postseason season, he has struck out nine and walked four over 8 innings. But Morton could do most of the work. He’s been 10-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 16 starts at Minute Maid Park during the regular season in 2017.

Hitting trends

The Yankees have been the hot team at the plate, but New York has only scored three runs in three game at Minute Maid Park during the ALCS. Three Yankees have had regular success against Morton. Starlin Castro (3 HR), Frazier (2 HR), and Matt Holliday (2 HR) against Morton.

Yankees career stats against Charlie Morton

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
Starlin Castro 30 12 1 0 3 9 0 5 0.400 0.400 0.733 1.133
Matt Holliday 34 9 1 0 2 8 1 4 0.265 0.286 0.471 0.756
Todd Frazier 18 7 2 1 2 6 1 1 0.389 0.421 0.944 1.365
Brett Gardner 4 3 1 0 0 2 1 0 0.750 0.833 1.000 1.833
Chase Headley 9 3 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.333 0.500 0.333 0.833
Didi Gregorius 6 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.167 0.375 0.167 0.542
Aaron Hicks 4 1 0 1 0 2 2 1 0.250 0.500 0.750 1.250
Gary Sanchez 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.667 0.500 1.167
Jacoby Ellsbury 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333
Aaron Judge 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333
Ronald Torreyes 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

It will be interesting to see if Josh Reddick gets a start against CC Sabathia, he is batting .105 (2x19) with a home run. Carlos Beltran is batting .229 (8x35) with three extra-base hits.

Astros career stats against CC Sabathia

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 Beltran 35 8 2 1 0 0 6 8 0.229 0.341 0.343 0.684
Jose Altuve 6 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Brian McCann 10 2 2 0 0 1 1 5 0.200 0.250 0.400 0.650
Josh Reddick 19 2 1 0 1 1 1 6 0.105 0.150 0.316 0.466
Evan Gattis 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0.333 0.333 1.333 1.667
Marwin Gonzalez 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0.333 0.333 1.333 1.667
Cameron Maybin 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400
Alex Bregman 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Carlos Correa 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333
George Springer 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.333 0.000 0.333

Keys to success

Charlie Morton

The case can be made for Charlie Morton being the third-best pitcher for the Astros in 2017 even ahead of Lance McCullers. But if the Astros get another outing like in game 3 it won’t matter how good Morton is. The Astros will live and die by Morton.

Bullpen

Charlie Morton will likely go five-to-six innings on Saturday in a perfect storm. Houston will need their bullpen to get three to four innings from the bullpen. Lance McCullers, Brad Peacock, and even Dallas Keuchel will be needed.

Jose Altuve

The 2017 AL MVP has to play like it. He did it in game six and the Astros are here for game. Now it’s time for him to get Houston to the World Series.