Fresh off being named the American League Championship Series MVP following the Astros' seven-game triumph over the Yankees, Verlander will have a short turnaround to try and keep a powerful Dodgers offense at bay. During the ALCS, Verlander followed up a complete-game, 13-strikeout effort in Game 2 with seven shutout innings in a Game 6 victory.
The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner has been stellar throughout the playoffs and owns a 2.59 ERA over his five career postseason starts, so it was a no-brainer for Astros manager A.J. Hinch to turn to their ace for Game 1. Keuchel will oppose Clayton Kershaw in the contest, with Justin Verlander following the lefty in the rotation start Game 2.
Beltran is just 3-for-17 (.176) so far in the postseason, so he'll open Saturday's decisive Game 7 on the bench as the Astros look to advance to their first World Series since 2005. In his place, Evan Gattis will serve as the designated hitter, batting sixth.
Sabathia was terrific for the Yankees in his Game 3 start, pitching six scoreless innings while striking out five and allowing just three hits and four walks. He will once again oppose Charlie Morton in the series-deciding contest, but this time he will be the one pitching in a hostile environment at Minute Maid Park.
Morton was knocked around by the Yankees in Game 3 of the series, but manager A.J. Hinch believes it was a bout with bad luck and that the 33-year-old can pull through on regular rest. He will once again oppose CC Sabathia -- who bested him in Game 3 -- in the series-deciding Game 7 tilt.
Petricka will be able to start throwing in about 3-to-4 months, which places him on an initial timeline for a spring training return. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery, which moved the pitcher's nerve to a position that would not pinch or irritate his elbow. Petricka was put on the DL in early September with a right elbow strain, after posting a 7.01 ERA in 25.2 relief innings this season.
Severino took a comebacker off the wrist during Saturday's Game 2 start and was removed after four innings, but should be near full health going into Friday's affair after partaking in some throwing earlier this week. The 23-year-old allowed one earned run off two hits and two walks during that Game 2 outing, and faces off against Justin Verlander once again with a trip to the World Series on the horizon for New York.
Beltran will head to the bench as the Astros face elimination against Luis Severino and the Yankees at Minute Maid Park. In his place, Evan Gattis will spend the contest in the DH spot, while batting eighth.
Sanchez posted a career-worst 6.41 ERA to go along with a 1.59 WHIP over the course of 105.1 innings this season. Most of his time on the mound came as a starter, but he did spend time in the bullpen, appearing in 11 games as a reliever as opposed to 17 in the Tigers' rotation. It remains to be seen whether Sanchez will return to the team in 2018 on a new deal, or look elsewhere this offseason.
This is why Houston acquired Verlander at the end of August. With the Astros down 3-2 in a best-of-seven set, Verlander will get the ball as he looks to keep the team's World Series hopes alive. He tossed a complete game gem in Game 2 of the ALCS against New York, striking out 13 batters and allowing just one run on five hits and a walk to earn the win.