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Astros-Yanks G4: Lineups, FAQ (FS1)

@BryanHoch and @brianmctaggart
October 17, 2019

NEW YORK -- When the American League Championship Series resumes with the rescheduled Game 4 on Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium, the Astros will take the field hoping to build upon their 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

NEW YORK -- When the American League Championship Series resumes with the rescheduled Game 4 on Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium, the Astros will take the field hoping to build upon their 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Houston rebounded from a Game 1 loss to post victories in games started by their AL Cy Young Award candidates, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. The latter of those efforts restored the Astros’ home-field advantage in the series; if the Yankees are to celebrate in this ALCS, they will do so at Minute Maid Park.

Game Date Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 12 NYY 7, HOU 0 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 13 HOU 3, NYY 2 (11) Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 15 HOU 4, NYY 1 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 17 HOU 8, NYY 3 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 18 NYY 4, HOU 1 Watch
Gm 6 Oct. 19 HOU 6, NYY 4 Watch

The Yankees will need to reclaim some of their “Savages in the Box” swagger in order for that to transpire. New York led the Majors with 943 runs scored during the regular season, but the big-swinging Bombers have been limited to three runs over their past 20 innings by Houston hurlers. Perhaps Mother Nature will help in that regard: The wind is gusting upwards of 30 mph, and it's blowing out at Yankee Stadium.

When is the game and how can I watch it?
Following Wednesday's rainout, Game 4 has been rescheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.

All games telecast on FOX and FS1 will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay TV provider.

What will the starting lineups look like?
Astros:
After having success by flipping Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez and reinserting Josh Reddick back in right field for Game 3, manager AJ Hinch trotted out a near identical lineup for Game 4 against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka.

1) George Springer, CF
2) José Altuve, 2B
3) Michael Brantley, LF (L)
4) Alex Bregman, 3B
5) Yuli Gurriel, 1B
6) Yordan Alvarez, DH (L)
7) Carlos Correa, SS
8) Robinson Chirinos, C
9) Josh Reddick, RF

Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone moves hot-hitting Gleyber Torres to the No. 4 spot in the lineup. In addition, Aaron Hicks -- whose at-bats have been encouraging -- takes over the No. 3 spot. At 22 years and 308 days old, Torres is the youngest player to start at the cleanup spot in a postseason game in Yankees history. Prior youngest: Joe DiMaggio at 23 years, 314 days in 1938 World Series Game 1.

1) DJ LeMahieu, 1B
2) Aaron Judge, RF
3) Aaron Hicks, CF (S)
4) Gleyber Torres, 2B
5) Edwin Encarnacion, DH
6) Brett Gardner, LF (L)
7) Gary Sánchez, C
8) Gio Urshela, 3B
9) Didi Gregorius, SS (L)

Who are the starting pitchers?
Astros:
The Astros will bring back Zack Greinke on full rest to pitch Game 4. Greinke allowed three runs and six hits, including two home runs, in a Game 1 loss. He has allowed nine earned runs in 9 2/3 innings in two starts this postseason in losses to the Rays in Game 3 of the AL Division Series and Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS.

In his career in the postseason, he’s 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 11 starts with the Brewers, Dodgers, D-backs and Astros.

Yankees: Wednesday’s rainout will permit the Yankees to bring back Tanaka on full rest for Game 4. Tanaka has pitched twice this postseason, including six scoreless innings of one-hit ball in the Yankees’ 7-0 victory at Houston in Game 1.

Tanaka was impressively efficient in that outing, tossing only 68 pitches. The right-hander owns a 1.32 ERA over 41 career postseason innings spanning seven starts, dating to the 2015 AL Wild Card Game against Houston.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Astros:
If Greinke can give the Astros six innings and the lead, they’ll be in a position to try to close out the game with Will Harris, Ryan Pressly and closer Roberto Osuna.

Yankees: With Tanaka on the mound, the Yanks are expected to go the more traditional route of trying to funnel the ball through Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton to closer Aroldis Chapman. Adam Ottavino has struggled, though Boone said he’ll continue to use him.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Astros:
Houston hasn't stretched any of its relievers extensively yet in the ALCS, so they should all be available.

Yankees: Luis Cessa threw 35 pitches over two scoreless innings in Game 3 and would likely have been unavailable to pitch on Wednesday, though he could potentially be used on Thursday.

Any injuries of note?
Astros:
Springer appeared to be gimpy as he hit third base in the seventh inning of Game 3, but he insists he’s not injured

Yankees: Stanton tested his strained right quadriceps during batting practice on Tuesday, but he is unsure if or when he will be able to return to the lineup. Though Stanton said that he is able to hit, running the bases and playing the outfield continue to be issues.

Who is hot and who is not?
Astros:
Altuve (.417) and Brantley (.308) have nine of the Astros’ 17 hits in the ALCS. Springer is 1-for-12 in the series with a homer, and 4-for-33 in the playoffs. Gurriel is 1-for-11 in the ALCS and Correa is 2-for-12 with a walk-off homer.

Yankees: Torres is batting .417 (10-for-24) with four doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs in the Yanks' six postseason games. LeMahieu (9-for-27, .333) continues to be one of New York's most consistent hitters. Encarnacion snapped an 0-for-16 stretch with a fifth-inning double in Game 3, and Sanchez is 2-for-21 (.095) this postseason.

Anything else fans might want to know?
• Altuve’s home run in Game 3 was the 12th of his career in the playoffs, tying Springer for the most in club history.

• Torres’ three homers are the most by a Yankees player under the age of 23 in a single postseason. Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs set the Major League record for most homers by a player under 23 by slugging five homers in the 2015 postseason.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.