HOUSTON – The time is now for the Astros. Houston has a chance to finish off the American League Division Series with the Cleveland Indians on the road in the best-of-5 series.
Here are a few keys that can help the Astros take care of business in Cleveland:
1. Keuchel must be locked in
Yes, the Astros bats have been the big difference in games 1 & 2 wins, but solid pitching has been just as crucial for the Astros. Lefty starter Dallas Keuchel must come with that Cy Young form in order for the Astros to put the series away.
2. Defense travels
Since Keuchel's pitching style is known to generate contact and ground balls, the defense must come ready to play. The Astros have a top defense in all of baseball, that's no secret. But they need to be totally in sync Monday -- no silly errors to allow the Indians to take advantage.
3. Road warriors
Winning on the road comes easy to the Astros. They just need to stick to the same recipe for success they've had all season. The bats need to catch fire against Mike Clevinger and the new lineup, with Carlos Correa batting seventh, might help things get going early. Also Yuli Gurriel needs to have a breakout game and contribute; he's batting fourth.