The New York Yankees have yet to lose a postseason game at home. They came back with a big four-run eighth inning on Tuesday to take Game 4, evening up the series at two games apiece. The Houston Astros had New York on the ropes on Tuesday, holding a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but the Bronx Bombers took care of business against the Astros’ bullpen. Now, New York will have to face-off against the same pitches that held them to two runs spread over the first two games, but this time, they’ve got the momentum on their side. Will that make a difference?
Game 1 - Astros 2, Yankees 1
Game 2 - Astros 2, Yankees 1
Game 3 - Yankees 8, Astros 1
Game 4 - Yankees 6, Astros 4
Game 5 - Astros (Dallas Keuchel) at Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka), Wednesday, October 18, 5 p.m. ET (FS1)
Game 6 - Yankees (Luis Severino) at Astros (Justin Verlander), Friday, October 20, 8 p.m. ET (FS1)
*Game 7 - Yankees (C.C Sabathia) at Astros (Charlie Morton), Saturday, October 21, 8 p.m. ET (FS1)
Much like the ALDS, the Yankees fell behind 0-2 in the series, but they’ve come storming back, dominating at home. This team seems to have a flair for the dramatics, coming back from a series deficit and even from a 4-0 deficit in Game 4 heading into the seventh inning.
Lance McCullers Jr. pitched excellently. He stymied the New York lineup and almost brought a victory to the Astros, but he hadn’t started in a while and wasn’t likely to go deep in the game. He ended up pitching into the seventh. McCullers left with the lead and his performance should have given Houston all they needed to win, but the bullpen couldn’t hold it.
The Yankees’ lineup—which has been shut down by the Astros rotation in three of the four games in this series—busted out against the pen in Game 4. That’s a concern for A.J. Hinch as the series progresses. New York’s pen is an advantage for the Bronx Bombers. Even though David Robertson allowed a run on Tuesday, they went four innings combined with just that one run.
As the series heads into its final game at Yankees Stadium, the Astros will turn things back to one of their aces. That’s huge for Houston, but does it matter if the bullpen cannot hold a lead?
Meanwhile, offensively, the Astros did finally score more than two runs in a game, but still only plated four while collecting just three hits. The power wasn’t there either. This was the best offense in the regular season, but New York has shut them down through four games. Not only will the Astros need better pitching out of the pen, it’ll need more production from the offense.
The same thing was true of the Yankees through the first two games of this series, but since they returned to Yankee Stadium the bats have awoken. The short perch in right-field helped spark the offense when Todd Frazier’s three-run homer went over the fence in Game 3. Aaron Judge hit a blast of his own in that game. The MVP candidate followed that up with a 2-for-3 game with a double and another homer as his bat has finally started to come to life.
With Judge hitting and Gary Sanchez hitting a double of his own, things are getting even trickier for the Yankees. Those two had been relatively quiet for New York to this point in the playoffs.
To this point, the Astros won the two games they needed to win at home and the Yankees won the two they needed to win without Keuchel and Verlander on the hill. With the series now tied, Game 5 becomes huge. An Astros’ win would be a huge momentum swing, giving them two chances to close out the series at home. A Yankee win, however, would put Houston on the ropes heading back home.
Game Time: 5 p.m. ET (FS1)
Probable Pitchers: Dallas Keuchel vs. Masahiro Tanaka
ALCS Game 1 Betting Odds: Yankees -130
Current Odds To Win Series: Astros -310
Dallas Keuchel completely owned the Yankees’ offense in Game 1. New York was coming off an emotional series win over the Indians and didn’t have nearly as much time to rest as the Astros. That may have played into the Bombers’ slow start to the series, but either way, Keuchel was dealing on Friday. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out 10. Nobody could touch him.
While the Astros’ bullpen did allow a run in their two innings of work and Houston’s offense only managed two runs, it was more than enough given how well Keuchel handled the potent Yankee lineup. Keuchel has now throw 13 scoreless postseason innings against New York.
In the regular season, Keuchel has faced the Yankees six times, pitching to a 1.41 ERA in 44.2 innings. Four of those games were at Yankee Stadium where his ERA is 1.61. Traditionally, Keuchel is a much better pitcher at home. His home ERA in 2017 was 2.26 compared to 3.53 on the road, but the lefty has had his share of success in the Bronx.
Speaking of success in the Bronx, Masahiro Tanaka is lights out there. While his season was a roller coaster, he was 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA in 15 home games. The ERA jumps on 6.48 on the road.
Despite the road struggles, he pitched rather well at Minute Maid Park in Game 1. He wasn’t as good as Keuchel, but he allowed only two runs and threw six innings. That was on the heels of a seven-inning, shutout performance in Game 3 of the ALDS. That one did come at home just like the Game 5 matchup here in the ALCS.
Which team will win the first four games to become this years 2017 World Series champions?
The MLB World Series has been a tradition in American sports that extends back over 100 years. The games are played in October, so there is often a crisp chill in the air at each baseball game. But the cooler temperatures are offset by the electricity of the crowd during each game. Each game is critical to the outcome, so every inning and every at bat are huge.
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