As the Los Angeles Dodgers bide their time at home, the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will battle it out in a seventh game of the American League Championship Series Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.
The home field has been kind to both teams to this point, so that means the Astros should have something of an advantage in Game 7. The Yankees will try to counter that edge with veteran pitcher CC Sabathia getting the starting assignment. Charlie Morton will take the mound for the Astros.
The seventh game is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by FS1.
The winner will go to Los Angeles for Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET. The Dodgers won the NLCS, defeating the Chicago Cubs in five games. Dave Roberts' team earned the title Thursday night, and the manager will have a chance to set his pitching rotation and his lineup as the American Leaguers battle it out.
Here's a look at the schedule for the Fall Classic:
Tuesday, October 24
Game 1, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox
Wednesday, October 25
Game 2, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox
Friday, October 27
Game 3, Los Angeles at New York/Houston, Time TBD, Fox
Saturday, October 28
Game 4, Los Angeles at New York/Houston, Time TBD, Fox
Sunday, October 29
Game 5, Los Angeles at New York/Houston, Time TBD, Fox, if necessary
Tuesday, October 31
Game 6, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox, if necessary
Wednesday, November 1
Game 7, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox, if necessary
The Dodgers have had a memorable season, and they are surging at the most critical time of the year.
They were the best team in baseball by a fairly wide margin for three-quarters of the season, and they were on track to win 110 games or more through the middle of August. However, they hit a terrible skid late in the month that carried into the middle of September.
The Dodgers lost 16 of 17 games with the playoffs around the corner, and they did not look like a team that was capable of winning a series against a mediocre opponent, let alone beating other championship contenders.
They came out of their slump in the final 10 games of the regular season, but they appeared to be on shaky ground as they prepared to play the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series. They had been swept in two three-game series by Arizona during their losing skein, and the power bats of Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez loomed large.
However, Roberts and his team had no concerns, and they eliminated the wild-card winners in three straight games. The 2016 World Series champion Cubs were unable to come up with any solutions either.
The Dodgers rolled to an 11-1 triumph in the fifth game and celebrated the National League title at Wrigley Field. Enrique Hernandez, one of the Dodgers' role players, shocked observers with a three-HR performance that included a grand slam in the clinching game.
The Dodgers have been getting clutch hitting throughout the postseason from a number of key performers. Third baseman Justin Turner is hitting .387 with three home runs and 12 RBI, while right fielder Yasiel Puig is hitting .414 with a home run, six RBI and six runs scored.
"This is one of the most unbelievable teams I've ever been part of," said Justin Turner, per Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. "Every night, it's somebody different, something special. You never know what you're going to see, maybe even somebody hit three home runs in a series-clinching game."
Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor both have hit two home runs and driven in four runs, while Logan Forsythe is hitting .316 with six runs scored.
Starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish both have 2-0 records, as does reliever Kenta Maeda. Kershaw has had postseason struggles throughout his career, and while he hasn't been lights out in the postseason, he has a 3.63 earned-run average along with 16 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. Darvish has a 1.59 ERA and an impressive 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings of postseason work.
If the Yankees survive the seventh game, they will depend on their power bats against the Dodgers. Aaron Judge has hit four postseason home runs to lead the team after belting 52 during the regulars season. Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird have each hit three home runs in the playoffs for the Yankees.
The Astros are led by American League MVP candidate Jose Altuve, who is hitting .405 in the postseason with four home runs and seven RBI. First baseman Yuli Gurriel is hitting .378 with 14 hits in the postseason, while Carlos Correa has three home runs and nine RBI.
While the winner of Saturday's ALCS will have to leave everything on the field to earn the title, that team will be aided by two full days of rest prior to Game 1 of the World Series.
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