The Yankees and Astros play the win-or-go-home Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Houston. The winner will advance to the World Series and take on the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
|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, 1B||Greg Bird, 1B|
|Evan Gattis, DH||Starlin Castro, 2B|
|Brian McCann, C||Aaron Hicks, CF|
|Marwin Gonzalez, LF||Todd Frazier, 3B|
|Josh Reddick, RF||Chase Headley, DH|
Who is starting for the Yankees?
LHP CC Sabathia, who pitched six scoreless innings in Game 3 at Yankee Stadium, allowing just three hits and four walks with five strikeouts in the win.
In his career, Sabathia is 10-5 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 22 postseason appearances (21 starts).
Who is starting for the Astros?
RHP Charlie Morton, who was tagged for seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings of work during Game 3.
1. Sabathia the Stopper
Should the Yankees advance to the World Series, they will have to win their third winner-take-all affair of this postseason. Based on the history of Sabathia's season -- 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in starts after a Yankees' loss -- he is the pitcher the Yanks want on the hill. If the Yankees can get five solid innings from Sabathia, they can let it fly with the remaining arms.
2. Score early and often
The Yankees had plenty of success against Morton in Game 3 (seven runs), but that was at Yankee Stadium, where the club has been a completely different offensive team than in Houston. The Yankees have scored just three runs at Minute Maid Park and are now 1-5 on the road in the playoffs. The Yanks will have to get to Morton, who pitches well at Minute Maid Park, early and force the Astros to bring in Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers on short rest before the Astros are forced to use their actual relievers, who have been a disaster for much of the series.
3. Most hands on deck
The Yankees used one of their best relievers, Chad Green, for 38 pitches in Game 6, ruling him out of the decisive Game 7. David Robertson threw 12 of the worst pitches of his career in Game 6 and Dellin Betances mopped up the mess at the end of the game. The Yankees will not use Betances in a stress situation and Robertson looked wiped out Friday night. This means the Yankees have two lockdown relievers in Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman ready to go. Adam Warren may provide a key inning, but after that the Yankees pitching staff is a complete question mark.