Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees ALCS Game 1

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees ALCS Game 1

The opponent is certainly a factor, but Houston fans will be excited to attend an ALCS game regardless.

The median listing price as of midday Thursday was $362 for Game 1 and $363 for Game 2. It's what happened in the wild-card game, as well as Game 5 of the ALDS. Also, a seven-game series is slightly different than a five-game series. Gone is the team with the best record, best pitcher (Cleveland's Game 5 starter, Corey Kluber) and (statistically) best bullpen.

-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. However, as it seemed like the Cubs would come away with game two as they had a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Washington unraveled the faults in their bullpen as outfielder Bryce Harper crushed a towering two-run homer to tie the game, followed by first basemen Ryan Zimmerman hitting a go-ahead, three-run blast later to make it 6-3 Nationals, which would be the final score. NY blew a five-run lead in Game 2, with manager Joe Girardi making mistake after mistake. Masahiro Tanaka has been unhittable at Yankee Stadium, allowing six earned runs in 49 innings over his last seven home starts.

Houston Astros fans cheer before Game 4 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Boston.

Before we get carried away with the Yankees, there is a grim reality they must overcome vs. the Astros.

Who has the edge between these two ball clubs? The Astros may get to play a deciding seventh game in Houston, but only if the series goes that far.

Making the Yankees' come-from-behind series win even more improbable is that they got nearly zero production from their two sluggers, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. The Astros' lineup includes MVP favorite Jose Altuve as well as two others - George Springer and Carlos Correa - who will finish among the first 10 in voting.

Rotation: Dallas Keuchel remains the ace of Houston's staff, even with the addition of Justin Verlander. Robertson may not pitch in the first game and Chapman just an inning if needed. The Indians also held home-field advantage and used it to go up 2-0 on the Yankees early in the series. But the best remaining bullpen in the AL shapes up well. Judge finished the regular season by setting a record for most consecutive games with a strikeout, and he's wrapped up the first postseason action of his career by setting another similarly dubious record.

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