After a hard-fought season and postseason, it all comes down to Game 7 today. The Houston Astros came up in a big way, dispatching the Yankees by a score of 7-1 to force one more game to decide the American League. The Astros needed their offense to get going, and got going it did. Houston scored 7 runs, their highest run total of the ALCS. They previously had 4 runs in Game 4, but their effort last night nearly doubled that number up. It really was the first game that the Astro offense finally stood up. Did the Yankees wake up a sleeping giant? Houston haven’t looked like that in this series thus far, so we’ll see if it can carry over the Astros.
Jose Altuve led the way with a deep ball and 3 RBI’s. Alex Bergman also connected for a double to bring 2 runs home. George Springer and JJ Reddick continued to struggle, going a combined 0-8 but they didn’t need their assistances. They may need one of them to come to life in Game 7. The Astros are going to go with Charlie Morton as their starter.
Justin Verlander is taxed after going deep last night, and Dallas Keuchel pitched the game before. So, the Astros are putting their faith in Morton to get the job done. I was thinking more along the lines of Lance McCullers, but I expect him to see an appearance in this one. In fact, the Yankees and Astros are going to throw the kitchen sink on the diamond in Game 7. All the while, the Dodgers are resting their arms and gearing up for the World Series. The Yankees are going to counter with CC Sabathia, who has been terrific against the Astros in the ALCS. We’ll see if it continues in Houston. Head below for our free ALCS Game 7 pick.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Houston Astros Pick
CC Sabathia (15-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (14-8, 3.96 ERA)
CC Sabathia has already dominated this lineu. He will have to do it one more time, and he’ll go down as the MVP of the ALCS. In Game 3, CC went 6 strong innings, allowing just 3 hits and no runs. Going back a series to the ALDS, Sabathia was strong there as well. He beat Kluber in a showdown, giving up 2 runs in a 5-2 winning effort for the Yankees. However, can he do it again? The Astro offense seemed to wake up last night and put up 8 runs in an instant. They’ve done that all season long, and if it carries over, the Yankees are going to be in a lot of trouble.
Morton will start opposite Sabathia, who is coming off an ugly outing against the Yankees. He allowed 7 runs in just 3.2 innings, as he was yanked early. Morton has a chance to redeem himself in the biggest game of his career. However, there is enough of a sample size to suggest that Morton is going to run into issues again. The Yankees have hit him for a .327 BA and 7 home runs in 113 at-bats. Starlin Castro is hitting .400 against him with 30 at-bats. Todd Frazier is another guy, hitting .389 in 18 at-bats. Further, Brett Gardner has 3 hits off him in just 4 plate appearances against Morton.
You can go up and down the list of guys who have had success against him on the Yankees. Keuchel should be available out of the bullpen, though, so if things turn sour look for him. McHugh will also be available in the bullpen. I have a feeling the best two offenses, statistically, in the majors come to play in Game 7, though. The Astros’ bats woke up last night, and I could see Sabathia finally running into a bad start. If Morton gives up runs early, which he has shown a tendency to do against the Astros in the past, the Yankees will have a tired bullpen to hit. I think this one goes OVER the total, but as a fan, this one should be a treat either way.
PICK: OVER 8 (-110)