The Houston Astros did what they had to do to protect homefield and grabbed a 2-0 series lead in the ALCS. Game 2 came down to the 9th, where Carlos Correa Jose Altuve became an instant hero as he darted for home from 1st base off a Correa double. The play probably should have been at home, but Gary Sanchez was unable to handle a short-hop delivered by Did Gregorius. Didi has been clutch for the Yankees time and time again this season, but failed to deliver there. It would have been a close play either way. Chapman allowed his 1st run in the postseason with that. As a result, the Yankees find themselves in a familiar position, down 2-0 in the postseason.
It almost feels like it was yesterday that the Yankees were down 0-2 to the Indians and Joe Girardi was booed. The Yankees won’t have to win three straight games this time around, which they did against a team who were favored to go to the World Series. It was a toss-up between the Astros and Indians before the postseason began, but the Tribe are gone and the Yankees are looking to upset the other favorite. CC Sabathia played a huge role in Game 5 of the ALDS. We’ll see if he can find the magic touch tonight in Game 3 of the ALCS.
Sabathia has been somewhat of an unsung savior for the Yankees this year. If he blew up and had a bad year, I don’t think the Yankees are here right now. Further, the Yanks aren’t here if Sabathia has a bad start against the Indians. They will need him to save them yet again. Charlie Morton, who has played a silent assassin role with the Astros as well, will counter Sabathia on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx has treated them well thus far with 3 wins this postseason at home. They are in what amounts to a must-win at home here. Head below for our thoughts, and pick for Game 3 of the ALCS.
Houston Astros vs. N.Y. Yankees Pick
Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA)
Unfortunately for the Yankees, they missed two glorious opportunities to take control. Getting the Astro offense to falter in two straight games is impressive. The Astros scored just 4 runs but still came out of Houston with a 2-0 series lead. Holding the ‘Stros to 2 runs in a game is no easy feat. Keeping them under 5 runs is usually a good night at the office. The Astros were 1st in the majors, averaging over 5 runs per game. How long will they be able to boggle their offense up? They already have and they’re down a couple games.
Sabathia might be the right guy for the job. He’s pitched well against this current group of Astros. They’re hitting just .193 in 88 at-bats vs CC. Evan Gattis, who has hit Sabathia for a .333 BA and a deep ball, might be suiting up. It would shift Gurriel to DH. To make matters even better for the Yanks is that fact that they’ve hit Morton for a team batting average of .327 with 7 home runs in 113 at-bats. In 30 at-bats, Starlin Castro has mauled him for 3 dingers and a .400. In Morton’s last appearance at Yankee Stadium, he allowed 4 runs across 5.2 innings of work. This game is going to be the best opportunity for the Yankees to win a game in this series. There isn’t going to be a comeback like they did against the Indians, but they should be able to make the series look interesting for a day or two with a win tonight.
PICK: YANKEES (-125)