The New York Yankees will host the Houston Astros on Tuesday night, which marks the 8th meeting of the year between the two teams. The Astros have an edge in the series (4-3). New York City will be rocking, and the atmosphere will be electric as October baseball in New York is second to none.
The matchup will feature Cy young candidate Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48 ERA) to be opposed by Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka (12-7, 3.51 ERA). Keuchel is pitching on three days rest after earning his 20th victory against the D-Backs on Friday. Tanaka on the other hand has been hampered by a hamstring, and went five innings, allowing four runs in his last start of the season.
The Astros are a very young team with little to no playoff experience on their roster. So will the stadium lights be too bright for them? Especially in front of a loud Yankee Stadium crowd that will explode on every moment. The Astros will have to strike early and fast to try to take the crowd out of it. Luckily for them, they have one of the best pitchers in the Majors on their side.
For the Yankees its pretty simple, they have to attack Keuchel. The odds are that if it turns out to be a pitchers duel, the Astros will have the advantage.
Here are the Keys for a Yankees Victory:
Tanaka has to assert himself early and get a head of the count to set up that dangerous split finger. The Astros are known to be a high strike out team, so if Tanaka can stay ahead, he can rack up some strikeouts.
Offensively the Yankees live and die with the long ball and Keuchel is not going to make mistakes. The top of the order is key as the team will have to look to manufacture runs by playing in an unconventional way. Gardner and Ellsbury can cause havoc running the base paths, so Girardi should get those guys in motion and try to create runs that way.
The Bullpen is pretty much as shut down as it gets, so if the ball gets to Betances and Miller, its safe to say that the Yankees will win the game. The two are strikeout pitchers going against a young and anxious, free swinging team. If they throw strikes, its goodnight for the Astros.
One team is loaded with playoff experience while the other doesn’t have any experience on this stage. With young players, confidence is the key. If they strike early, they will have a great shot at stealing the game. It’s going to come down to experience and the Yankees have it. Expect someone to step up big with a clutch hit. Carlos Beltran, the old warrior is the name that should pop into your head. Beltran will have a clutch hit late in the game that gives the Yankees the win.
Prediction – Yankees win 3-2
Game is on ESPN Tuesday at 8pm live from New Yankee Stadium
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