With the season on the line the Astros will send their ace Dallas Keuchel to the mound and the Yankees will counter with Masahiro Tanaka.

The Yankees righty has missed a game with a hamstring strain and finished his season with a 5 inning, 4 runs allowed outing. The 26 year old pitcher finished the season with a 12-7 record, with a 3.51 ERA. Tanaka features an 84 mph Slider, a 93 mph Fourseam Fastball, a 92 mph Sinker, a 90 mph Cutter, a 77 mph Curve, but he relies on his plus 88 mph Splitter.

Opposing him on the mound is Dallas Keuchel. The 26 year old, 6’3’’ southpaw finished the season with a 20-8 record and a 2.48 Era, he also led the American League with a 1.02 WHIP. The All-Star Game starter features an 80 mph Slider, an 80 mph Change, an 87 mph Cutter, a 90 mph Fourseam Fastball, and his primary pitch is a 90 mph Sinker.

Keys to the Game

• With all of Tanaka’s weapons, look for him to try and keep the young and eager Astros hitters off balance and on their toes.
• For Keuchel, he has to fix his road woes. He is 5-8 on the Road and carries a 3.77 Era with him.
• With the small dimensions of Yankees Field, each pitcher needs to make sure to keep the ball on the ground.

Key Players

• The Yankees key player is Carlos Beltran. Beltran, in the last 5 years, has a .444 average in 9 AB’s with a homerun and 2 RBI’s. Beltran will also need to use his experience to lead this team and keep them alive this postseason.
• The Astros key player is Jose Altuve. This little man seems to be able to come through in big moments like this, and he’ll have to do it again.. He has a .333 Average in only 3 AB, but he has a HR and an RBI.

Who Will Win

• Check out our predictions for every postseason series on Sprksports.com!

Where and When

• This game will air on ESPN at 8 ET!

Belal Ahmed

Spark Sports MLB Analyst