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2017 ALDS Game 2 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox

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Keuchel goes for a 2-0 lead for the Astros.

MLB: ALDS-Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2017 American League Division Series

Houston Astros (1-0) vs. Boston Red Sox (0-1), Oct. 6, 2017, 1:05 p.m. CDT

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: FS1
Radio: stream on MLB At Bat app, 790 KBME AM, ESPN Deportes 1230
Online: MLB.TV, Watch MLB Network
Red Sox SBNation Blog: Over the Monster


Pitching Matchup

LHP Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .256 BABIP, 3.32 xFIP) vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .310 BABIP, 4.15 xFIP)


Preview

Could game one have gone any better for the Astros? Probably not. Jose Altuve was done right unhuman. Justin Verlander did enough. Now Dallas Keuchel can get Houston a 2-0 lead with a win on Friday.

Pitching matchup

The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel takes the ball in game two for Houston. An idea that would have been crazy at the start of the 2017 season and before Justin Verlander joined the team. But Houston now has two ace-level pitchers on the staff.

Keuchel enters his first playoff start on a strong note in September. He was 3-2 with a 2.87 ERA in five starts. He struck out 28 and walked 12 over 31 13 innings.

Keuchel is 0-1 with a 9.88 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Red Sox. He hasn’t faced Boston in 2017 and allowed eight runs over six innings in one start in 2016.

Keuchel is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three career games (two starts) in the playoffs.

Drew Pomeranz enters his playoff starts with a 3-2 record and 3.69 ERA in six starts during September. He allowed one run over six innings in his final start of the 2017, on Sept. 30 against the Astros.

Pomeranz is 2-2 with a 3.69 ERA in 12 career games (seven starts) against the Astros. He is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts against Houston in 2017.

Hitting trends

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts each have a home run off the Astros left-hander. Mitch Moreland has struggled with the lefty-on-lefty matchup, batting .077 against Keuchel.

Red Sox career stats against 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
Chris Young 23 7 2 1 0 3 1 3 0.304 0.333 0.478 0.812
Jackie Bradley Jr. 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Brock Holt 5 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.400 0.400 0.400 0.800
Dustin Pedroia 7 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 0.286 0.375 0.286 0.661
Hanley Ramirez 2 2 1 0 0 1 1 0 1.000 1.000 1.500 2.500
Christian Vazquez 5 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.400 0.500 0.400 0.900
Mookie Betts 4 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 0.250 0.250 1.000 1.250
Xander Bogaerts 7 1 0 0 1 2 0 2 0.143 0.143 0.571 0.714
Mitch Moreland 13 1 1 0 0 0 1 4 0.077 0.143 0.154 0.297
Rajai Davis 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Eduardo Nunez 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.500 0.000 0.500

Brian McCann is the only Astro with a home run off Pomeranz, but his batting .182 against the left-hander.

Astros career stats vs. Pomeranz

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
Jose Altuve 17 7 1 0 0 1 1 2 0.412 0.474 0.471 0.944
Carlos Correa 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.600 0.600 0.600 1.200
Carlos Beltran 11 2 1 0 0 0 0 4 0.182 0.182 0.273 0.455
Cameron Maybin 6 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.333 0.429 0.500 0.929
Brian McCann 11 2 0 0 1 1 0 2 0.182 0.182 0.455 0.636
Derek Fisher 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500
Evan Gattis 13 1 0 0 0 3 0 2 0.077 0.071 0.077 0.148
Marwin Gonzalez 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.200 0.200 0.400 0.600
George Springer 8 1 0 0 0 0 8 5 0.125 0.563 0.125 0.688
Preston Tucker 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500 0.500 1.000
Alex Bregman 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Yuli Gurriel 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.250 0.000 0.250

Keys to success

Jose Altuve

What more can Jose Altuve do? He hit three home runs in game one. But Altuve has the strongest track record against Pomeranz of any Astro hitter. He is batting .412 (7x17) with a double and a walk.

Chris Young

Chris Young was added to the Red Sox ALDS roster on Thursday. The Houston native is by far and away the best hitter against Dallas Keuchel. He is 7-for-23 with two doubles, one triple, and three RBIs.

Dallas Keuchel

Keuchel can use the Red Sox desperation against them with his world-class offspeed pitches. A seven-plus inning outing for Keuchel will go a long way into securing a series victory for the Astros.