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Astros starting Keuchel in Game 1, Verlander in Game 2

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Astros starting Keuchel in Game 1, Verlander in Game 2

Keuchel v. The Yanks: Dallas Keuchel starts Game 1. Counting the AL Wild Card game, the Yankees have survived elimination in four games. The Yankees' rotation was impressive against Cleveland after Sonny Gray's Game 1 flop. NY was down 0-2 in the five-game series, but avoided elimination three times.

Starter Justin Verlander spearheaded the effort in his first postseason appearance since 2014 and scattered six hits over six innings while allowing just two earned runs. The southpaw has a 0.96 ERA in three postseason starts in Houston, and he put together a strong outing of 5.2 innings in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Red Sox. Not only is Keuchel 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA over his past four starts, including a win over Boston in Game 2, but he is also arguably the most prolific Yankee-slayer among starting pitchers in modern times. The Astros have homefield advantage against the Yankees. "I mean, especially now seeing me and Bregman having so much success they are going to be more blocks of scouts going down there to find some talent", said Giles.

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. The two teams will play Game 2 Saturday (Oct. 14) at 3 p.m. Yankees hitters are 19-for-103 (.184) with four walks and 35 strikeouts against him. I think when you look at them it's a complete lineup throughout.

The prediction: After coming all the way back to vanquish the 102-win Indians on Wednesday night, the Yankees were flying so high that they barely needed a jet to get to Houston. Left-hander CC Sabathia will start Game 3 when the series moves to NY, and right-hander Sonny Gray will pitch Game 4. It will feature the major league record-holder for most home runs by a rookie, New York's Aaron Judge (52), and six of the top 15 sluggers, by slugging percentage, in the A.L. It will feature the hardest-throwing pitcher in history, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, and the two top candidates for league most valuable player, Judge and Houston's Jose Altuve. The Astros will score early and ride Keuchel to a 5-2 victory.

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