Astros set to host Yankees in first game of ALCS.
HOUSTON (AP) — Dallas Keuchel is tired of talking about his success against the New York Yankees.
It didn't matter on Thursday, though. It was an unavoidable subject for Houston's ace as he prepares to start against them in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Friday night. Masahiro Tanaka will pitch for New York, which is in the championship series for the first time since 2012.
"I've been asked that question like 10 times already," a slightly exasperated Keuchel said. "I don't know, I mean, we're one of only four teams left, so at this point a lot of guys have had success pitching-wise on either the Indians or the Yankees."
But Keuchel has pitched better than most against the Yankees in recent years, going 4-2 with a 1.41 ERA and 45 strikeouts in six regular-season starts.
His biggest win to date against them came in the 2015 AL wildcard game when he and the then-upstart Astros got a 3-0 win in the Bronx. He struck out seven and scattered three hits over six innings to get the win in Houston's first trip to the postseason in a decade after years of rebuilding and losing.
Keuchel gets the nod in the opener after pitching behind Justin Verlander in the ALDS.
Keuchel won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015 when he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA before struggling last season, with a 9-12 record and 4.55 ERA. He bounced back this year despite neck issues, posting a 14-5 record with a 2.90 ERA to help the Astros run away with the AL West title.
He built off that in his first start this postseason when he yielded three hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings to help Houston to an 8-2 win over the Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS.
That made him 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in four postseason appearances with three starts.