Keuchel looks to continue success against Yankees in ALCS

The Yankees are built for the future thanks to young stars like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez

The Yankees are built for the future thanks to young stars like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez

Matt Holliday is starting at designated hitter and batting eighth for the Yankees in Friday's ALCS Game 1 versus the Astros.

After a fast start that signaled a young team arriving ahead of schedule, the Yankees rebuilt their bullpen at the trade deadline with the additions of strikeout kings David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle - adding them to a stable that included Chapman, Dellin Betances and Chad Green to form arguably the deepest late-inning corps in the game. "But when I was behind the scenes and got to see these young guys play, perform and the way (Aaron) Judge came out this year, it's no surprise they're in the position they're in".

Tanaka was 13-12 with a 4.74 ERA in 30 regular-season starts.

Houston is the overwhelming favorite to win this series due to the strong pitching the Astros have and a strong hitting lineup led by MVP favorite Jose Altuve.

With all of the attention on Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer, look for someone like Marwin Gonzalez to step up in the ALCS for the Astros. The Astros scored the most runs in baseball this season and have a formidable 1-2 at the top of the rotation with Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel.

Both Bregman and Giles had to work very hard to get to where they are today, but they believe that even though they are just two of the three New Mexico-bred players in the Major League Baseball, more will come.

"It's just been a culmination of command, location, maybe a little more confidence", Keuchel said of his success. After recording two hits, including a two-run homer, in the wild-card victory over the Minnesota Twins, the rookie slugger went 1-for-20 with a playoff series-record 16 strikeouts in the division series against the Cleveland Indians.

The Astros are one step away from reaching their first World Series since losing to the White Sox in 2005 as a National League team. He struck out nine times in those at-bats.

Right-hander Luis Severino will start Saturday's Game 2 in Houston. It's not a stretch to imagine this series being decided by what happens when the Yankees' powerful bullpen goes to work against the most relentless offense in the game.

McCann said facing the Yankees in his first ALCS doesn't make the experience any more special than it already is.

"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.

"They've got high-end velocity", Hinch said. But that could also mean that they're ripe for a Game 1 letdown.

The Astros will play the victor of Wednesday's Game 5 between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.

Prediction: Astros in six games.

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