It’s Game 7, folks. And it’s going to be a barn-burner, as the home team has won every game to this point. Will the bullpen of the Yankees prevail? Or, will the Astros offense be able to prop up a patchwork pitching staff for their first trip to the World Series since 2005?
LHP C.C. Sabathia (NYY) versus RHP Charlie Morton (HOU) — 8:08 p.m. ET, FS1
Sabathia is tasked with doing what no Yankees pitcher has been able to in the series—win at Minute Maid Park.
It won’t be easy, though, as the Astros offense is like sharks in a feeding frenzy taking aim at the Crawford Boxes in left field. This also could be Sabathia’s last start as a Yankee. He’s eligible for free agency at the end of the season, after all. And it’s unclear which direction they’ll head. Sabathia was good, but not perfect in a Game 3 win over the Astros at Yankee Stadium. He tossed six shutout innings with just three hits allowed. But he also walked four batters while buoyed by a strong Yankees offense in an 8-1 win.
The Astros were a historically strong offense this season—their 121 wRC+ as a team was the best mark in baseball since the 1931 Yankees—and that dominance was unfettered by left-handed pitching, as they were tied with the Tigers (yes, seriously) for the best mark against southpaws at 120.
There’s no way to know how long Morton will go for Houston in this one, though. But, he was on the losing end of the drubbing in Game 3—going just 3.2 innings while allowing seven earned runs on six hits.
It’ll be a Johnny Allstaff approach, most likely, with Lance McCullers, Dallas Keuchel and hell, maybe even Justin Verlander on no rest getting outs for the Astros in an all-hands-on-deck approach.
Morton was terrific this season—3.62 ERA, 163 strikeouts in 146.2 innings. But the postseason has not been pretty, with nine earned runs in eight innings (10.13 ERA). It might be three and free for him.