The Houston Astros continue to cement their first-place credentials. With a two-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves earlier this week, Houston moved to 23–11 on the young season – their best 34-game start in franchise history.
The New York Yankees, Houston’s next opponent, have a considerably longer history upon which to draw. Nonetheless, there’s no downplaying the fabled franchise’s success in 2017. At 21 wins against just 10 losses, the Bronx Bombers are off to their best start in a decade, and picking up steam. What better time for a face-to-face showdown?
The Yankees, led by rookie phenom Aaron Judge and bolstered by one of baseball’s strongest farm systems, are positioned to lay waste to the American League for years to come. Then again, so are the ‘Stros. It’s only May, but this four-game series may end up feeling an awful lot like October.
Toeing the rubber for the Astros in game one is Dallas Keuchel. The resurgent ace is exhibiting his Cy Young form this season, working to a 5-0 record and a glittering 1.88 ERA over his first seven starts. Keuchel is followed in the rotation by curveball-artist Lance McCullers Jr., a struggling Mike Fiers, and first-year Astro Charlie Morton.
A series win in New York would represent an undeniable confidence-booster for a hungry Houston team. This four-game series may foreshadow a years-long rivalry between the two clubs.
The Astros return home on Friday, May 19, when they host the Cleveland Indians at 7:10 PM. Get your tickets now, and plan to show up early – the first 10,000 fans through the gates at Minute Maid Park will receive a free Astros fedora presented by Goya.
Astros starting catcher Brian McCann came to Houston from New York in an offseason trade. Could the Yankees regret that move? McCann alone has out-produced the Yankees’ catching tandem of Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine, making Houston’s return in the trade – a pair of pitchers yet to progress past A-level ball – seem a small price to pay.
McCann isn’t the only Houston player with recent work experience in the Bronx. The Astros handed designated hitter Carlos Beltrán a one year, $16 million contract this offseason after the slugger starred for the Yankees from 2014-2016.
Star shortstop Carlos Correa enters the series hitting .371 in the month of May. Don’t expect him to slow down anytime soon – he’s hit to a .333 average in 5 career games at Yankee Stadium.