3 keys to Astros-Yankees ALCS Game 1

Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox during game two of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 6, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros are set for their first-ever American League Championship Series in a postseason battle with the New York Yankees. 

The 'Stros faced the Yankees in the one-game Wild Card playoff scenario in 2015 and behind Dallas Keuchel, the Astros eliminated the Yankees.

READ: Everything to know about ALCS

The Astros, obviously, would love to open this series with a win behind Keuchel in Game 1.

Here are 3 keys to Game 1:

1. Keep doing what they have been doing. They have scored in the first inning in all four of their playoff games and have had the lead after the first inning, too. Handing the lead to your ace is usually a recipe for success -- it has been twice for the Astros already. 

2. No extra outs. The Astros were very good defensively in their series against the Red Sox, save for Game 3. Likely that game goes down as a loss either way, but they were not sharp in the field and the Red Sox took advantage of that. Make the routine plays and make the spectacular plays look routine. The Astros have done that all season. 

3. Find a new hero. I asked manager A.J. Hinch about having so many players they seem to lean on for energy, sometimes it's George Springer, sometimes it's Josh Reddick, and recently it's been Alex Bregman. He said that's a great problem to have, so many guys that can lift a team and that it can be just about anybody on any given night. For a 101-win team that's reached the ALCS, they rarely are left without finding at least one spirit-lifter each night.

READ: Astros history in ALCS

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