Yankees to Send Masahiro Tanaka Against Astros in Game 1

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrating a win

Masahiro Tanaka will start game one for the Yankees on Friday.

Tanaka pitched a stellar outing in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Indians when the Yankees were facing elimination.

And assuming Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge are the top two finishers in the AL MVP race, it will mark the fourth ALCS in the past 25 years to feature both the MVP and runner-up. In Game 4, their pitchers' fastballs averaged a staggering 98 miles per hour, never once dipping below 96 - and that was with Chapman, who sometimes touches 102 and 103 miles per hour, not even participating. And in Game 1, they didn't waste any time putting it to good use.

Verlander v. Severino: In Game 2, Luis Severino starts for the Yankees while Justin Verlander starts for the Astros. Correa hit.500 against the Yankees with two home runs and 10 RBIs in seven regular-season games this season.

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The Red Sox will counter with Drew Pomeranz, who won a career-high 17 games and posted a 3.32 ERA during the regular season.

In 341 regular-season at-bats that ended before the pitcher got to two strikes against him, Altuve batted.446 with a.739 slugging percentage. I think when you look at them it's a complete lineup throughout. 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. The Astros have homefield advantage against the Yankees.

"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. Tanaka isn't necessarily the best option for the Yankees, especially with his struggles on the road this season, but with the other starters in the rotation working back to full rest, he's the go-to guy for Game 1.

Start with the starters and their co-ace, Dallas Keuchel. Games 1 and 2 will be played at Minute Maid Park. The Astros will score early and ride Keuchel to a 5-2 victory.

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