David Dermer/Associated Press
After two tough defeats in Houston, you might expect there to be some discomfort in the New York Yankees locker room. You would be wrong.
The Yankees found themselves in an 0-2 position against the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series and came back to win three straight games against a team that was thought by many to be the best in baseball.
They know what they have to do, and New York has confidence it can do it. The Yankees dropped back-to-back 2-1 games to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, but they believe the hitting can get back on track at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night at 8:08 p.m. ET. FS1 will televise the game.
“Offensively, I’d like to think we can only get better, especially going back to Yankee Stadium, where we play really well,” left fielder Brett Gardner said, per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
“I know our heads will be held up high,” third baseman Todd Frazier said, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. “It’s another tough game, losing Game 2. But we have more opportunities now. We’re excited to be playing at home. I know our fans are going to be ready to go and be loud. It’s going to be a different story at our place.”
Charles Krupa/Associated Press
The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound against Charlie Morton of the Astros. Sabathia was a 14-5 during the regular season with a 3.69 ERA in 148.2 innings of work. Morton was 14-7 this season with a 3.62 earned-run average, and he had a better than 3-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Yankees are minus-124 favorites (wager $124 to win $100) to win Game 3, according to OddsShark. The Astros are plus-114 underdogs (wager $100 to win $114) to take a 3-0 series lead.
New York will depend on its power bats to get back in the series. The two main sources are Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, but those two will have plenty of support back in the Bronx.
Judge hit a rookie-record 52 home runs during the regular season, but the postseason has been a painful struggle. The 25-year-old is hitting .129 with one home run and four RBI, and he has struck out 19 times in 37 plate appearances. Sanchez hammered 33 regular-season home runs, but he is also having a difficult time in the playoffs. He is hitting .176 with two homers and three RBI, and he has fanned 15 times.
Didi Gregorius is hitting .214, but he has belted three home runs and driven in six runs, while Greg Bird is hitting .250 with three home runs and six RBI.
Name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait. #Walkoff https://t.co/L8RTdyKtYg
The Astros are having no problems with their hitting or scoring runs. It starts with Jose Altuve, who has 13 hits in the playoffs and is hitting .565. Three of those hits have been home runs, and he has driven in four runs while scoring seven.
Yuli Gurriel is also punishing opposing pitchers with a .500 average, and other hot hitters for the Astros include Evan Gattis (.400), Carlos Correa (.292, with three HR and nine RBI) and George Springer (.292, with one HR and four runs scored).
If the Yankees are going to get back in the series, Sabathia has to find a way to keep Houston’s hot hitters in check.