Yankees to Send Masahiro Tanaka Against Astros in Game 1

Astros starting Keuchel in Game 1, Verlander in Game 2

Pitching opposite Tanaka will be Houston's ace Keuchel. "There's really not a weakness on either side".

If the Astros win: They will keep rolling, especially at home, where they outscored the Boston Red Sox by a 16-4 margin in the first two games of their division series.

Game 1, though, will hinge on whether the Yankees are finally able to hit Keuchel, who has been harder for them to figure out than a Rubik's Cube. The key will be if they can get their starters to go deep into games - instead of lasting only to the third or fourth inning.

"Cleveland pitchers did a great job, but he admitted he had pitches to hit and just missed them", Singleton said. "And a couple high-end starting pitching outings won them the series".

By the time his day was over, Sale had allowed six earned runs and nine hits, including six of the extra-base variety, while striking out six over five innings.

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"It's a complete lineup throughout", Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said of the Astros. "But I think it's just a coincidence that my command and location have been better than what it usually is against them". "They're going to hit their home runs, but they're going to do a lot of other things offensively, so you need to make pitches". In an era in which the strikeout is king, Keuchel is a throwback - a sinkerball specialist whose groundball rate of 66.8 percent was by far the highest in the game this season among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched.

Hinch told reporters that the Astros has a huge advantage with both Keuchel and Verlander going back to back to open the series.

The Houston Astros are playing in this year's ALCS game with the New York Yankees on Friday in Houston.

"Just because it's the Yankees you kind of get a little more amped and a little more jittery because it is the pinstripes and such a storied organization", Keuchel said. The Yankees' last ALCS appearance was in 2012.

Right-hander Luis Severino will start Saturday's Game 2 in Houston.

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Verlander may be the one who gets them there. "They probably don't throw a ball under 95 [mph]".

The Astros also have a hitter who has dominated the Yankees in shortstop, Carlos Correa.

Chatter about Girardi's future in the Bronx has been muffled since the Yankees became only the 10th team to win a best-of-five series after dropping the first two games. He's 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in the postseason.

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