Key things to watch as the Astros gear up for ALCS Game 6

By Randy McIlvoy - Sports Director
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HOUSTON - So long to The Bronx and hello, Minute Maid Park!

The The American League Championship Series is back in Houston tonight with the Astros up in the series 3-2.

The champagne is chilling, but this is not over yet. The Yankees are a stacked team that won't go down without a fight.

Twenty-seven more outs and a victory and then the celebration can begin.

STARTING PITCHING SITUATION

As I write this on an early morning flight, both teams have yet to name a starter for tonight's Game 6. The Astros will make it a bullpen game, which likely points to a guy like Jose Urquidy possibly getting the start. A.J. Hinch also has plenty of arms available, like Josh James, Joe Smith, Brad Peacock, Ryan Pressly, Will Harris and Roberto Osuna.

Aaron Boone and the Yankees will go the bullpen route, as well. It sounds like the likely nod will go to Chad Green, but they have not announced it yet. Green was used as an "opener" over 10 times this season.

STAT FACT: The Yankees are 12-5 using an "Opener" this season, while the Astros are 0-2.

ASTROS AT THE PLATE

The bats have been up and down so far in this ALCS. The Astros have left a ton of runners on base and have lacked the key two-out hits that they relied on all season en route to their 107 wins.

Tonight they are back in the friendly confines of Minute Maid Park where they won 60 regular-season games and put up monster offensive numbers all year.

Time to get the bats going from the likes of George Springer (4-22 in ALCS), Yordan Alvarez (1-19) and Yuli Gurriel (1-20).

Hinch was asked last night if Alvarez will stay in the lineup despite his struggles in the ALCS.

Hinch replied "Yes he will be in there and hit seventh."

So after a short night and day of travel it is time to get it done at home and celebrate in front of the home fans.

If a Game 7 is needed then it's on to Sunday night, when Gerrit Cole will face off against Luis Severino.

See ya at the ballpark tonight!
 

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