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ALCS Game 4 Preview: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

The Bombers bats came back to life last night in the Bronx. Can they keep the offense rolling and tie the series at two?


The New York Yankees won last night’s game 8-1 and injected life back into the ALCS. 

New York struck first in the second inning last night thanks to a three-run home run off the bat of Todd Frazier that put them up 3-0. They weren’t done there though, tacking on five more in the fourth with an RBI single by Chase Headley, a bases-loaded wild pitch, and a three-run blast by Aaron Judge into the left field seats, giving them a commanding eight-run lead. 

Meanwhile, New York starter CC Sabathia mowed down the Houston hitters, allowing just three hits through six shutout innings, walking four and striking out five. The lone Astros run was attributed to Dellin Betances, who walked the first two batters he faced in the ninth before getting replaced by Tommy Kahnle, who walked in a run. 

Game 4 Starters – Lance McCullers Jr. (RHP) vs. Sonny Gray (RHP)

McCullers has made one appearance so far this postseason, allowing two earned runs in three innings in an ALDS game against the Red Sox. In this start, he gave up three hits and walked two while striking out four. In 9.1 career postseason innings, the righty has a 3.86 ERA and 0.96 WHIP to go along with 11 strikeouts. He made two starts against the Yankees this season, combining for 11.1 innings pitched, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits, striking out 13 and walking two. 

After a solid close to the season, Sonny Gray was rocky in his lone postseason appearance this year. Against the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS, he allowed three earned runs on three hits and four walks in just 3.1 innings pitched, giving him an ERA of 8.10 this October. Gray’s career postseason numbers look much better though, posting a 3.31 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 16.1 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts. In one start against Houston this season, Gray allowed five earned runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings pitched, striking out five. 

Lineups

Astros Lineup
Home Runs
Batting Average
On-Base Percentage
George Springer, CF1.286.375
Josh Reddick, RF0.231.310
Jose Altuve, 2B3.481.563
Carlos Correa, SS3.286.355
Marwin Gonzalez, LF0.125.222
Yuli Gurriel, 1B0.423.464
Carlos Beltran, DH0.182.250
Alex Bregman, 3B2.222.276
Brian McCann, C0.091.130
Yankees Lineup
Home Runs
Batting Average
On-Base Percentage
Brett Gardner, LF1.286.350
Aaron Judge, RF1.147.293
Did Gregorius, SS3.219.359
Gary Sanchez, C2.158.179
Greg Bird, 1B3.258.395
Starlin Castro, 2B02.43.263
Aaron Hicks, CF1.273.314
Todd Frazier, 3B1.207.281
Chase Headley, DH0.056.105

Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not

Jose Altuve leads the Astros in batting average (.481), on base percentage (.563), and slugging percentage (.815) so far in the playoffs. His three home runs also have him tied with Carlos Correa for most on the team. Speaking of Correa, he is posting a 1.033 OPS in seven games this postseason with five extra-base hits and nine RBIs. Yuli Gurriel is also swinging a hot bat, hitting .423 this October with only two strikeouts in 28 plate appearances. 

Brian McCann can’t seem to get anything going in the playoffs, batting .091 with six strikeouts and no walks in 22 plate appearances. The catcher has yet to get a hit in the ALCS. Marwin Gonzalez is struggling as well, putting up a .389 OPS in his last seven games. During this span he has more than twice as many strikeouts (eight) as he does hits (three). 

Greg Bird has been by far the most productive hitter for New York this postseason with a .975 OPS in nine games. He has three home runs and five RBIs so far. Didi Gregorius has been swinging a good bat too, posting a .359 OBP and .500 slugging percentage in his last nine games. He also has three home runs, and he has more walks (seven) than strikeouts (6). 

Chase Headley has a single hit in the postseason, going 1 for 18 in seven games. Meanwhile he has struck out eight times and walked only once. Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge have gone a combined 11 for 72 this October with 36 strikeouts between the two of them. 

Prediction: Yankees 5 – 3 Astros

Now that the Yankees are back in New York and the offense is booming, I think they’ll continue to build upon last night’s big win just like they did in the ALDS against Cleveland. Both teams’ starters have performed fairly comparably this postseason, but the Bombers’ bats seem to have a lot more pop in them compared to Houston’s, who have scored five runs in three ALCS games. If New York can get to the Astros’ bullpen early like they did yesterday, then they have a great shot at evening the series tonight. 

Where to Watch

Today’s game will begin at 5:08 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on FS1. 

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ALCS Game 4 Preview: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

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