Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious homered twice in the series clinching victory, as the Yanks chased Indians ace Corey Kluber early in the game and never looked back. While the Astros do have some decent arms, they haven't had almost the reliability of the Yankees' pen. That has carried over into the postseason as a whole.
Aroldis Chapman has thrown 6.2 scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts, Tommy Kahnle has not allowed a hit in five innings and David Robertson has conceded just four hits and one run in eight frames of work.
When the Yankees receive a solid start, they are pretty tough to beat. This bullpen gives them a distinct advantage late in the game, as the Astros' mediocre relief pitching put them 17th in Major League Baseball with a 4.17 ERA, and they followed that up with 10 runs allowed over 16.1 innings in their ALDS matchup with the Boston Red Sox. The Astros have homefield advantage against the Yankees. Gardner had three hits, a run and a key RBI in the ninth on Wednesday in Game 5, but Judge came up empty 0-for-5 with four Ks. But the best remaining bullpen in the AL shapes up well. In 17 at-bats, Judge has only hit into play four times, including just one home run. Home-grown talent like Keuchel, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and George Springer have turned into some of the best players in baseball. Altuve may not be able to replicate his over-.500 performance against the kind of pitching the Yankees bring to the series, but he's an incredibly risky, patient hitter. They were good enough to give Houston 101 regular-season wins, and they only didn't finish with the AL's best record because the Cleveland Indians went on a record-setting winning streak.
Still, the Yankees can counter. He gave up one earned run on three hits with seven strikeouts and three walks over 5 2/3 innings during a 8-2 win over Boston in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Sonny Gray, who struggled in Game 1 of the ALDS and did not pitch again in the series, could be a candidate. That may be NY and thus the bad news for the Astros.
With all of these factors in mind, the Yankees feel like the favorite here. Boston aims to keep their postseason hopes alive on the shoulders of last year's Cy Young victor, Rick Porcello, as they play Monday afternoon.
The "Baby Bombers", as the Yankees' young core is often called, have already exceeded expectations, and a loss to the Astros in the ALCS would not be a disappointment.
Raptors no longer staying at Trump-owned NY hotel
But some coaches and players have made it clear that Trump's politics definitely factors into their decision to stay elsewhere. The Washington Post found that teams pay about $20,000 a night to stay at hotels like Trump SoHo in New York City.