The announcement of starting pitchers were made by the Yankees Thursday afternoon, which was less than a day after the team beat the Cleveland Indians to win their ALDS.
"It is a little insane", said McCann, the 33-year-old catcher who was traded by the Yankees to Houston last winter. "Good luck, I guess".
Tanaka was 13-12 with a 4.74 ERA in 30 regular-season starts.
One key stat to know: There's no effective way to pitch Altuve, which is why he rates as the AL MVP frontrunner. The key will be if they can get their starters to go deep into games - instead of lasting only to the third or fourth inning. And in Game 1, they didn't waste any time putting it to good use.
"It's just been a culmination of command, location, maybe a little more confidence", Keuchel said of his success.
Where do the Astros advantages in this series lie?
The best-of-seven series pits the team with the most World Series championships (the Yankees, with 27) against a team with only one trip to the Fall Classic in its history (a 2005 sweep at the hands of the White Sox). He allowed three hits and struck out seven in seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory.
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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.
Luis Severino will start Game 2 on Saturday.
The matchup that matters most: It's the postseason, so the bullpens will be a series-long storyline.
"Just because it's the Yankees you kind of get a little more amped and a little more jittery because it is the pinstripes and such a storied organization", Keuchel said.
Verlander may be the one who gets them there. "I think certain veterans on the team steer them in the right direction, too, like CC Sabathia". But that could also mean that they're ripe for a Game 1 letdown.
If the game of baseball has entered some new evolutionary realm this season, populated by flame-throwing pitchers and all-or-nothing sluggers who together pushed home run and strikeout totals to record highs, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees represent its pinnacle - the most highly evolved species of this new era of baseball.
Prediction: Astros in six games. This isn't the time to start betting against them.