The Yankees will need that resolve again with the Astros perhaps even a tougher opponent than the Indians.
The Yankees did crush a pitcher with a 1.80 ERA against them in Corey Kluber, but the advantage that Keuchel has over Kluber is that he had previously faced and beaten the Yankees in postseason. The Yankees' hopes lie in keeping games close and turning them over to what is probably baseball's best bullpen. As friend David Schoenfeld of ESPN notes, the Astros slashed a Major-League best.301/.373/.525 against fastballs and also had the lowest strikeout rate on the pitch. The Astros and the Yankees have played each other in seven games in the regular season.
Bucking the current trend in baseball, where strikeouts are tossed off as an acceptable by-product of a swing-for-the-fences approach at the plate, the Astros somehow manage to slug - their.478 slugging percentage ranked first in baseball and their 238 homers trailed only the Yankees - while striking out at a rate of just 17.3 percent of plate appearances, the lowest rate in the majors.
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Josh Reddick provided the series-clinching run on a single from a 99 miles per hour pitch by Craig Kimbrel. 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.
"Cleveland pitchers did a great job, but he admitted he had pitches to hit and just missed them", Singleton said. The bulk of that comes at the back of the bullpen.
Biggest Horses: Expect the Astros to ride their biggest horses in this series - Verlander, Keuchel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer.
In the LDS against the Dodgers, Gurriel was risky because he attacked pitches at the top of the strike zone and expanded his hitting zone to reach pitches outside the strike zone. According to ESPN Stats & Info, it marked the second time in 181 career starts that Sale gave up six extra-base hits.
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Gurriel also closed the regular season strong, hitting.385 with nine RBIs in his last 15 games.
At age 40, Beltran may be getting his last chance for his first World Series ring.
Prediction: Astros in six games. The then National League Astros won the World Series that season.
"They've got high-end velocity", Hinch said.
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Verlander was 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA with the Astros after coming over from Detroit in a trade for three minor leaguers. He bounced back this year despite neck issues, posting a 14-5 record with a 2.90 ERA to help the Astros run away with the AL West title. And he has a desire for redemption. The series starts at 7:08 p.m. tonight.