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It didn't matter on Thursday, though.

The next round begins Friday night, with the Houston Astros hosting the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

The Astros are one step away from reaching their first World Series since losing to the White Sox in 2005 as a National League team.

"I've been asked that question like 10 times already", a slightly exasperated Keuchel said.

Justin Verlander has a 1.88 ERA in his last nine postseason starts dating back to 2012.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is ready to help Houston beat the Yankees after enjoying a banner year. But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY.

"I'm happy for him, and I'm also happy for Judge and Gary Sanchez and the younger guys".

Tanaka was 13-12 with a 4.74 ERA in 30 regular-season starts. His biggest win to date against them came in the 2015 AL wild-card game when he and the then-upstart Astros got a 3-0 win in the Bronx. He struck out nine times in those at-bats.

"For that win in the wild-card game, it wasn't just special for me and the validation, it was special for everybody to go into NY and play that well", he said. Verlander, who was acquired on August 31, made his first career relief appearance to help eliminate the Red Sox in Game 4 on Monday. "So I have all the confidence in the world". For the postseason, Yankees relievers have posted a 2.20 ERA while striking out 42 batters in 28 2/3 innings and limiting opposing hitters to a.153 batting average and a.474 OPS.

Verlander was 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA with the Astros after coming over from Detroit in a trade for three minor leaguers.

"Dallas Keuchel has been remarkable as an Astro, he's been remarkable in my three years here", Hinch said. "He's very professional and he likes to pitch and we like to play behind him". After recording two hits, including a two-run homer, in the wild-card victory over the Minnesota Twins, the rookie slugger went 1-for-20 with a playoff series-record 16 strikeouts in the division series against the Cleveland Indians.

Skipper Girardi said that Tanaka has had a few really strong starts, as his last two were outstanding. "I was so excited and I was like, 'OK, here we go.' It's not a secret that we had a good team before him, before trading for him, but after we did that it's like, 'OK, now we go, now we got everything we need.' And I was really happy we got him". Gonzalez only hit.200 in the ALDS, but he'll get more pitches to hit than those further up the lineup and a clutch hit or two could turn the tide of the series.

With all of the attention on Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer, look for someone like Marwin Gonzalez to step up in the ALCS for the Astros.

Altuve has kept up his blistering pace in the postseason, where he's hitting.533 with three homers and four RBIs. It will be a challenge for the 25-year-old MVP co-favorite to rediscover his swing in such a short amount of time. "They're aggressive on the base paths, so you have to control that". "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can".

Luis Severino will start Game 2 on Saturday. But New York showed itself as a force to be reckoned with by rallying from two games down to oust the Indians.


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