The New York Yankees and Houston Astros will do battle in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday to decide who plays the Los Angeles Dodgers in this year's World Series.
The home team has held serve throughout the series, which will end in Houston's Minute Maid Park. Charlie Morton will get the nod for the Astros, while CC Sabathia gets the call for the Yankees.
Here's a look at the Game 7 schedule, alongside ticket information, odds and a quick pick.
FS1 will televise the game live from Houston's Minute Maid Park, beginning at 8 p.m. ET, with play-by-play man Joe Buck and color commentator John Smoltz on the call. The pregame show will begin at 7 p.m. ET, also on FS1.
Game 7 tickets are available through StubHub.
The Astros are -122 favorites (bet $122 to win $100), with the Yankees at +112 (bet $100 to win $112), according to OddsShark.
This pitching matchup is a rematch of Game 3, which the Yankees won 8-1 behind strong pitching from Sabathia and home runs from Todd Frazier and Aaron Judge.
Morton was knocked out early in that game, surrendering seven earned runs in 3.2 innings. It's odd, but Morton looked better than his stat line showed. He gave up Frazier's home run, which was a right-field poke that barely cleared the Yankee Stadium short porch. In most parks (maybe all of them), that hit is either an out or a double.
Otherwise, he induced soft contact and got a lot of swings and misses, but he was also on the wrong side of luck. It didn't help that Yankee Stadium channeled the old days and became the Bronx Zoo, as the fans were raucous all series.
Now Morton will be at home in front of his own rowdy fans at Minute Maid Park. Look for him to have a longer and better outing, but the fact of the matter is he doesn't match up particularly well with the Yankees bats.
Morton is a reverse-splits pitcher who does better against lefties (.561 OPS this season) than righties (.805). The Yankees have a ton of right-handed bats with pop, led by Judge and Gary Sanchez. But the New York righties can all go yard, and Frazier (and second baseman Starlin Castro) have each hit three dingers off Morton in their careers (including Frazier's playoff homer).
In the other dugout, Sabathia has been fantastic throughout the postseason save for a couple rocky innings in Cleveland. He's turned back the clock in the 2017 playoffs, striking out five in six shutout innings against Houston and punching out nine in 4.2 innings against the Indians in Game 5 of the American League Division Series. He does a good job disrupting a hitter's timing and is a master at inducing soft contact.
After the starters, the Yankees have the edge in the bullpen, although setup man David Robertson looked shaky in giving up four runs to the 'stros in the eighth inning during Game 6. That being said, the Yanks bullpen was third in ERA this season, while Houston's finished a below-average 17th out of 30 MLB clubs.
The difference here, though, is this is Game 7, and Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle noted how that may change Houston's pitching strategy:
Jake Kaplan @jakemkaplan
Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers will both be available in relief for the Astros tomorrow. All hands on deck, except* probably Verlander.2017-10-21 04:18:58
Therefore, the Astros bullpen may not even get a chance. If Houston gets an early lead, we could see a bridge from Morton to starter Lance McCullers to starter Dallas Keuchel.
The key will be the early innings, and the guess here is the team that jumps out to a lead before the starters leave will end up keeping it.
An excellent series should finish with a classic game. In this one, it's a toss-up, but the pick here is the Yankees by a 5-4 score thanks to some key hits from Frazier.