It's do-or-die time for the Houston Astros.
Once up 2-0 in the ALCS against the New York Yankees, the Astros went to New York and watched that lead turn into a 3-2 series deficit. Now, the Yankees will have the opportunity to close things out in Game 6 with the series shifting back to Houston.
The stakes couldn't be higher.
Below, you'll find all the viewing information you need and a preview of the crucial matchup between the Astros and Yankees.
When: Friday, Oct. 20 at 8:08 p.m. ET
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Any preview of this game has to start with the excellent pitching matchup: Luis Severino on the hill for the Yankees against Astros righty Justin Verlander.
Severino has had his ups and downs in three postseason starts, going 1-0 with a 5.56 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and nine strikeouts in 11.1 innings. He lasted just four innings in New York's 2-1 Game 2 loss, albeit coming off a 113-pitch start just five days earlier against Cleveland.
However, Severino was excellent in the regular season and certainly has the ability to shut down the dangerous Astros.
If he can keep his composure, that is.
"I hope I can control my emotions," he said, per Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. "I feel a lot of confidence in myself."
Severino may not even need to be at his best to stifle the Astros, though. The top offense in baseball during the regular season has gone cold in the ALCS, managing just nine runs in five games. As a team, they are hitting .167.
They were shutout in Game 5 and, if the bats don't wake up, it may not matter how well Verlander pitches in Game 6.
"We're going to go home," manager A.J. Hinch said after Game 5, per MLB.com. "We hit well. We get a day off tomorrow, which is probably the most important thing, and try to make some offensive adjustments. The playoffs, [are] about advanced scouting and exposing weaknesses, if they get you to crack a little bit outside of your game plan then they’ve got you. We haven't stayed in our game plan quite well enough to make adjustments."
While the Astros have gone cold, the Yankees have heated up. Aaron Judge's reemergence has been a huge factor. After registering just four hits in New York's opening eight postseason games, Judge caught fire over the past three games, posting four hits, two homers and six RBI.
That helped awaken a Yankees offense that had managed just two total runs in the first two games of the ALCS, both losses.
So, will returning to Houston help the Astros regain their torrid offense? Will the Yankees stall against? It should be noted that the Astros are 4-0 this postseason at home, and will assuredly welcome playing in front of their home fans.
"New York is no joke. Yankee Stadium is a tough place to play," Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel acknowledged, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. "And it was rocking these three games. But it’s going to be rocking Friday for us."
Having Verlander on the mound will help, too. He's 3-0 this postseason with a 2.04 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. In his five regular-season starts after joining the Astros, he went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 34 innings.
Suffice to say, Verlander is red-hot. Having him on the mound will be a confidence booster for the Astros. Not that they were ever likely to lose faith.
"Our backs are against the wall," veteran Brian McCann told Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. "We'll be ready. This team, we've played extremely well all season long, and nothing's going to change. We'll be ready for Game 6. We've responded all year long."