Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees ALCS Game 1

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees ALCS Game 1

The New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 in Game 5 of the ALDS on Wednesday to win the series and advance to the next round where they'll play the Houston Astros. The Astros have repeatedly said over the last six weeks how badly they want to win the World Series to bring some joy to a city devastated by flooding and high winds.

-David Robertson came out of the bullpen in the fifth to give NY the first 2 2/3 innings of 4 2/3 innings of no-hit relief.

Altuve hit.346 in the regular season to win his second straight AL batting title and third in four years. Starting pitchers have not been announced, but it is safe to assume two of Sonny Gray, Severino and Tanaka will start in Games 1 and 2.

The Houston Astros have already won blow-outs and close contests so far in the 2017 postseason.

Before we get carried away with the Yankees, there is a grim reality they must overcome vs. the Astros.

The Astros are the nation's sentimental favorites after what Hurricane Harvey did to Houston, and they have never won a World Series. NY is also 6-2 in their last eight during game one of a series and 20-8 in their last 28 overall. The Astros took five of those matchups, including a comeback victory at home on July 1.

That slugging outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit nearly 80 home runs during the regular season, haven't done much in the playoffs so far means the rest of their lineup is doing a lot.

Judge and Sanchez this season combined for 88 home runs, with Judge setting a rookie record with 52 blasts, and 204 RBIs. The Astros' lineup includes MVP favorite Jose Altuve as well as two others - George Springer and Carlos Correa - who will finish among the first 10 in voting.

Verlander made only two starts at Minute Maid Park after his trade from the Tigers, but he was almost flawless in them, allowing just one run on four hits in 14 innings, while striking out 16. Little of that probably matters. Don't think the Yankees won't be.

Joe Girardi has four relievers-Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman-that can change a game when one of New York's starters is in trouble. The Indians would eventually win 9-8 in 13 innings, giving them the 2-0 series lead going back to the Bronx. But the best remaining bullpen in the AL shapes up well. Houston pitchers this season have actually quelled Judge. The question in this series is whether the Astros are the better team now.

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