No doubt New Yorkers have had this game circled on their calendars for a long time. A chance for revenge against the upstarts from Houston for their smackdown of the vaunted Yankees in last year's ALCS. Both team's come in with similar rosters from that matchup, however the Yankees added NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton to their roster, whereas the Astros added ace Gerrit Cole, who will not pitch in this series. The Yankees also boast the early favorite for rookie of the year, slugging second baseman Gleyber Torres.
The Astros come into this series limping a bit, having lost the last two games in Cleveland, in both cases let down by their usually very reliable pitching staffs. They lost a 14 inning heartbreaker yesterday which depleted their bullpen, and had to fly into New York to play this big day game in front of a sell out crowd in Yankee stadium. But if there ever was a stopper, it is today's Astros pitcher, Justin Verlander, 2018 version.
If the pitching has been a let down the last few days, the hitters are red hot. Jose Altuve just accomplished a 10 straight hit hitting streak in the last three games, and Evan Gattis hit two home runs yesterday. They have 7 players who have a 950+ OPS in the last seven days.
Expect playoff excitement today in the Bronx.
For more info on this series and the matchups, see ckuno's excellent series preview here.
Justin Verlander, RHP (6-2, 1.08 ERA) early bet for AL CY Young, faces, Domingo German, RHP (0-2, 5.59 ERA), in his rookie year, who pitched very well earlier in the year against the Astros in Minute Maid Park.
Fangraphs likes the Stros in this game, setting the odds at 54%.
Here's where to go for your listening and viewing pleasure.
Game 1: Monday, May 28th @ 12:05 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790, La Ranchera 850 AM / Yankees - WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Yankees - YES / ESPN, ESPN (out-of-market only) / MLB.TV
|George Springer RF
|Brett Gardner LF
|Jose Altuve 2B
|Aaron Judge RF
|Carlos Correa SS
|Gary Sanchez C
|Yuli Gurriel 3B
|Greg Bird 1B
|Marwin Gonzalez LF
|Gleyber Torres 2B
|Evan Gattis DH
|Aaron Hicks CF
|J. D Davis, 1B
|Didi Gregorius SS
|Brian McCann C
|Miguel Andujar 3B
|Jake Marisnick CF
|Neil Walker DH