The Houston Astros It was announced on Friday afternoon that right-hand man Cristian Javier will start the third game of the MLS Championship series against New York Yankees on Saturday. Teammate Lance McCullers Jr., who was expected to get the nod, will instead start Game 4 on Sunday.
McCullers told reporters, Including Mark Berman from FOX26that he was pushed back a day after being hit in the elbow with a spare champagne bottle while Houston celebrated the Division Series’ capture of Seattle Mariners. McCullers threw a game session on Friday and claimed he was fine and ready to take the hill on Sunday.
Javier, 25, has started in 25 of his 30 regular season games this year. He recorded a 2.54 ERA (152 ERA+) and a 3.73 strike-to-walk ratio. This will be his second post-season appearance (he made a break in the last series) and his thirteenth career in the playoffs. It will mark his first start to the group.
McCullers, 29, was limited to just eight regular season appearances due to injury. He did well when he was available, accumulating a 2.27 EPR (171 EPR+) and 2.27 strike-to-walk ratio. The fourth game would mark his eighteenth postseason appearance in his career, and his eleventh early season appearance.
The Astros entered Friday’s travel day with a 2-0 lead in their best of seven series against the Yankees. This is the third time the two sides have met at ALCS in the past six years. The Astros won their first two ALCS encounters between the two teams, and they are now in a good position to complete the hat-trick with two more wins. Historically, Major League Baseball teams that advance 2-0 in a series have won the top seven in that series 84 percent of the time.
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