HOUSTON – Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will start Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday against the Houston Astros, the New York Yankees announced on Thursday.
Tanaka won his first playoff game in the majors with seven stellar innings in a 1-0 win against the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 of the American League Division Series last Sunday.
Tanaka allowed just three hits and a walk, striking out seven against the team with the best record in the AL this year.
“It’s the first game of the series so it is hugely significant. We want to go in there and take this first game,” Tanaka said.
Saturday’s Game 2 start will go to right-hander Luis Severino, who worked seven strong innings, in New York’s Game 4 win over Cleveland. CC Sabathia will start Game 3 on Monday when the series moves to New York.
Yu Darvish, meanwhile, is scheduled to start either Game 2 or Game 3 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 and the club will wait to find out who its opponent will be before making a decision on Games 2 (Sunday) and 3 (Wednesday).
Darvish threw five overpowering innings on Monday, earning his first major league postseason win as the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 to advance to the NLCS.