The Yankees and Astros play Game 3 of the best-of-seven ALCS on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. The Astros lead the series 2-0 after winning the first two games in Houston.
|George Springer, CF||Brett Gardner, LF|
|Alex Bregman, 3B||Aaron Judge, RF|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||Didi Gregorius, SS|
|Carlos Correa, SS||Gary Sanchez, C|
|Yuli Gurriel, DH||Greg Bird, 1B|
|Evan Gattis, C||Starlin Castro, 2B|
|Marwin Gonzalez, 1B||Aaron Hicks, CF|
|Josh Reddick, RF||Todd Frazier, 3B|
|Cameron Maybin, LF||Chase Headley, DH|
Who is starting for the Yankees?
LHP CC Sabathia, who allowed two runs on five hits while walking none and striking out nine in 4 1/3 innings against the Indians in Game 5 of the ALDS.
Sabathia did not face the Astros during the regular season.
Who is starting for the Astros?
RHP Charlie Morton, who allowed two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six in 4 1/3 innings against the Red Sox in Game 4 of the ALDS.
Morton faced the Yankees once during the regular season, allowing four runs on four hits while walking four and striking out 10 in 5 2/3 innings on May 14 at Yankee Stadium.
CC the Stopper
The Yankees may not admit it, but it's certainly feasible that they believed there was a chance they would enter Game 3 down 0-2 after facing Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. With that in mind, who better than Sabathia to pitch Game 3 coming off a loss? In 12 starts this season, including the postseason, Sabathia is 9-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 73 2/3 innings in the game after the Yankees were defeated.
Touch up Charlie Morton
The Yankees have had some success against Morton, with the current club slashing .325/.390/.600 with 15 extra-base hits (eight home runs) in 120 at-bats against him in his career. The Yankees surely need production from Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, but do not be surprised if some of the damage is done by a few hitters at the bottom of the Yankees' batting order.
When the current Yankee Stadium was opened, the biggest complaint among long-time fans was the fact that it lacked the energy felt in the previous incarnation. So far in the 2017 playoffs, the Yankee Stadium crowd has been as electric and loud as ever. The players have taken notice and have commented about the benefits the home crowd cheers provide. If Sabathia shuts down the Astros in the opening innings of the game and the Yankees can manage some early runs off Morton, the fans' noisy support will continue to grow and may help propel the Yankees in the pivotal Game 3 contest.