With the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks each winning their Wild Card games to advance to the division series, eight teams are now aspiring to search for the title to either reclaim it or end a longtime drought of postseason misfortune. In his 14-5 record during the regular season, Keuchel posted a 2.90 ERA with 125 Ks. Aaron Judge had one hit, a huge two-run double in Game 4, in the ALDS and set a record for most strikeouts in a postseason series with 16.
As if that were not enough, NY has some intangibles in play as it goes into the series with Houston.
The Yankees rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to beat the Indians in the best-of-five series with a 5-2 win Wednesday night.
The fulcrum in the series with Cleveland was the stellar starting pitching by the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino, and they likely will go in Games 2 and 3 after Sonny Gray starts Game 1. They blew a five-run lead in the second game of the division series at Cleveland, but came back to win the next two in Yankee Stadium and then stunned the Indians, the best team in baseball all season, in game five. You gave the obvious names like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander, George Springer, Dallas Keuchel, amongst others. Gray is 3-7 with a 3.11 ERA in 72 1/3 road innings this year.
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-David Robertson came out of the bullpen in the fifth to give NY the first 2 2/3 innings of 4 2/3 innings of no-hit relief.
That slugging outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit nearly 80 home runs during the regular season, haven't done much in the playoffs so far means the rest of their lineup is doing a lot. Houston is a -180 favorite to win Game 1 and NY is a +155 underdog.
Didi Gregorius hit three home runs during the ALDS for NY, while Greg Bird added a pair of home runs. After being shut out in the first game in a 4-0 loss, the Yankees went into game two with an 8-3 lead after six innings. This year, nine of those teams didn't make the playoffs. While the Astros do have some decent arms, they haven't had almost the reliability of the Yankees' pen.
The bullpen will be key, as New York's stronger ability to hold leads or cease the Astros' offense late in games can allow the Yankees to capitalize on a shaky Houston relief group. Many are former dud teams that got higher-up draft picks, which gave them phenomenal players, but it's something greater than that too. It's what happened in the wild-card game, as well as Game 5 of the ALDS.