Astros starting Keuchel in Game 1, Verlander in Game 2

Colby Rasmus rounds the bases after hitting a solo shot off Marahiro Tanaka

While the Astros have a pitching staff full of flamethrowers - bolstered by the addition of former Cy Young Award victor Justin Verlander in August - they have chosen lefty Dallas Keuchel, the softest-tossing pitcher on their staff (88.7 miles per hour average fastball), to start Game 1 for them Friday night, opposite Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka pitched a stellar outing in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Indians when the Yankees were facing elimination. The Yankees' last ALCS appearance was in 2012. "I love being able to represent them and I try and play, I play hard everyday all the people that have helped me in New Mexico to get to this point", said Houston third baseman Alex Bregman.

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.

Starting for Houston in Game 2 opposite Severino will be veteran Justin Verlander, who the Astros acquired late in the season from the Detroit Tigers.

Both Bregman and Giles had to work very hard to get to where they are today, but they believe that even though they are just two of the three New Mexico-bred players in the Major League Baseball, more will come.

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

The Yankees will need that resolve again with the Astros perhaps even a tougher opponent than the Indians. In order to earn a trip back to the World Series, their first since 2005, the Astros will have to get past a ball club that has won 40 American League pennants.

In 341 regular-season at-bats that ended before the pitcher got to two strikes against him, Altuve batted.446 with a.739 slugging percentage. The two teams will play Game 2 Saturday (Oct. 14) at 3 p.m. Jose Altuve hit for a .346 average in four games against the Red Sox with three home runs and four RBI.

The Astros tacked on two runs in the sixth thanks to a two-run single from catcher Brian McCann, which was more than enough cushion for a pitching staff that was generally sharp. The Yankees also have lost the most Series at 13. "They're aggressive on the base paths, so you have to control that". But New York showed itself as a force to be reckoned with by rallying from two games down to oust the Indians. He's a career.325 hitter with 16 home runs in postseason, including eight in 12 games for the Astros in 2004. The Astros will score early and ride Keuchel to a 5-2 victory.

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