ALCS Game 5 preview: Houston Astros vs New York Yankees

The Yankees came back from being down 4-0 Tuesday night to even the series at two. New York is 5-0 at Yankee Stadium this postseason and looks to keep the momentum going.

The New York Yankees improved to 5-0 at home in the postseason after their comeback win against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the ALDS. 

Down 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bronx Bombers chipped away against a Houston bullpen that could not shut the door for Lance McCullers Jr. The Yankees would score six unanswered runs and Aroldis Chapman would shut the door as the Yankees evened the series at two games apiece.

Pitching Matchup: Dallas Keuchel (LHP) vs Masahiro Tanaka (RHP)

In Game 1 of the ALCS, Dallas Keuchel was sensational. The lefty went seven shutout innings while allowing just five baserunners and striking out 10. In two postseason career starts against the Yankees, Keuchel has thrown 13 innings without allowing a run. Plain and simple, New York just can’t hit off Keuchel in the postseason. Keuchel will look to put the Yankees’ bats back in check as the Bronx Bombers have scored 14 runs in the last two games after scoring just two runs in Games 1 and 2 combined. 

Masahiro Tanaka was just as impressive as Keuchel was in Game 1 and matched the former Cy Young winner. Tanaka gave the Yankees six quality innings, only allowing two runs and five baserunners. Tanaka has turned back the clock this postseason to the pitcher that the Yankees saw in 2016, not the inconsistent pitcher they saw this year. This postseason, the Japanese hurler has thrown 13 innings and allowed only two runs in that span. Tanaka attacked the Astros’ lineup differently than he has done throughout his career, which played a major role in his Game 1 success. It’s on Houston to make the adjustments now

Projected Lineups

Astros LineupHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
George Springer, CF0.258.361
Josh Reddick, RF0.207.281
Jose Altuve, 2B3.448.556
Carlos Correa, SS3.250.314
Yuli Gurriel, 1B0.400.438
Alex Bregman, 3B2.194.242
Carlos Beltran, DH0.214.267
Marwin Gonzalez, LF0.148.233
Brian McCann, C0.083.154
Yankees LineupHome RunsBattingAverageOn-Base Percentage
Brett Gardner, LF1.256.318
Aaron Judge, RF3.189.333
Gary Sanchez, C2.171.186
Didi Gregorius, SS3.250.372
Starlin Castro, 2B0.225.262
Aaron Hicks, CF1.243.282
Greg Bird, 1B3.250.429
Matt Holliday, DH0.000.000
Todd Frazier, 3B0.242.306

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?

As a whole, the Yankees’ bats have come alive in the two games played at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx Bombers have scored 14 runs in their last two games and it’s not just one guy doing it. Game 4 showed why New York can be so dangerous because they’re never out of a game. When they put runs on the board, they can do it quickly and Houston is learning that. The Yankees managed to get to Corey Kluber twice in the ALDS, and it will be interesting to see if their hot bats can get to Dallas Keuchel once. 

In the first two games of this series, all the talk was about the play of Jose Altuve. Altuve’s bat has cooled down as the series has shifted to New York and his batting average has dropped to .448. A .448 batting average is still out of this world, but the Yankees have clearly changed their approach against Altuve. In Games 3 and 4, it has worked. Now it is on Altuve to make the adjustments to get back to where he was in Games 1 and 2 of the series. 

Prediction: Astros 3 Yankees 1

Dallas Keuchel just pitches too well against the Yankees for New York’s lineup to go against him. Keuchel will give the Astros another strong performance and Tanaka will match him once again. The Yankees’ strikeouts will become a problem and it will cost them. Jose Altuve breaks out of his slump in a big way with driving in all three of the Astros runs. The Astros will take a 3-2 series lead heading back to Houston.

Where to Watch?

First pitch is scheduled for a little after 5:00 PM EST and can be seen on FS1. 

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