What you need to know ahead of ALCS Game 2

Houston – It's a new day for the Astros and a chance to get back on track in the ALCS against the Yankees.  New York came to town and stole Game 1 on Saturday night 7-0 to accomplish exactly what they set out to do.  Now they will try to sweep the first two of this AL Championship series but they will be challenged.

What you need to know about ALCS Game 2 

Verlander's history against the Yankees

Justin Verlander, who starts Game 2 on Sunday night, has been outstanding against the Yankees in his career and even more so when looking at his numbers in the playoffs and since he arrived in Houston.  Verlander is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA in six career postseason starts against New York. Verlander is a perfect 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in six combined regular season and playoff starts against the Yankees.  

He will be opposed by Yankees lefty James Paxton, who is 0-0 with a 5.74 ERA in the playoffs. Paxton has a good history against the Astros dating back to his time with the Seattle Mariners.

Rare home loss for Astros

Most were surprised at the ALCS Game 1 loss by the Astros. That marked the fourth time in ALCS history for the home team to be shutout in the opening game. It's happened before and three teams that dropped Game one went on to advance to the World Series. 

Look ahead to  ALCS Game 3

After Sunday night, the ALCS will shift to the Big Apple for the next three games. Tuesday's Game 3 will be an afternoon contest between two great pitchers. The game will start at 3:08 p.m. Central Time.  Astros co-ace Gerrit Cole, who is 2-0 with an 0.57 playoff ERA, will be opposed by Yankees right-hander Luis Severino

Sunday night's pregame ceremony appearances

Try to be in your seat for the pregame ceremony. The U.S. Air Force Academy Band will perform the national anthem as well as "God Bless America" in the seventh inning. Also, first pitch honors will go to Jose Lima, Jr., the son of former Astros pitcher and fan-favorite Jose Lima. 

Lima Jr. will toss out the first pitch to former Astros pitcher Mike Hampton. Popular rap artist Slim Thug will have the "Play Ball" call.