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ALCS Game 2: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros

A win to tie the series before it moves to New York would be huge for the Yankees.

MLB: New York Yankees at Cleveland Guardians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees’ struggles on offense have continued to hurt them this postseason, and their task doesn’t get easier in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, where they’ll face Houston’s Framber Valdez. Still, today the Yankees start Luis Severino, a pitcher capable of dominating his own right.

Sevy last started Game 3 of the ALDS, and while the loss in that game wasn’t on him, the team could certainly use a bit better from him today. Severino threw 5.2 innings and allowed eight hits and three runs while striking out eight and walking no one. Unfortunately, with the way that the bats have been playing, you can’t count on that being good enough to win.

Valdez was a deserving All-Star this season, leading the American League in innings pitched while posting a 137 ERA+. He also led the league in HR/9 at 0.5 — not a good sign for a team that’s almost exclusively scoring off of home runs. He earned the win in ALDS Game 2 against Seattle, throwing 5.2 innings and allowing two earned runs. That start came a week ago, so he’s either well-rested or rusty.

Perhaps in response to the struggles on offense, or because Valdez is left-handed, the lineup looks quite different today. Home run hero Harrison Bader moves from the lower half of the lineup to the leadoff spot, still followed by Judge, who will play right field. He’s followed by the DH Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo at first, Gleyber Torres at second, and Josh Donaldson at third. Kyle Higashioka will catch — there seems to be a bit of a personal catcher situation going on with him and Severino. He’s followed by Oswald Peraza at shortstop, making his first playoff start— no pressure. Oswaldo Cabrera bats ninth and returns to left field.

The Astros will use the same lineup as they did in yesterday’s victory. If they want to keep giving Jose Altuve the most at-bats with the tremendous slump he’s in, that’s fine by me.

How to watch

Location: Minute Maid Park – Houston, TX

First pitch: 7:37 pm ET

TV broadcast: TBS

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280, ESPN Radio / KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010, ESPN Radio

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