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The greatest six words–or five words and one number if you want to get literal–in sports: There is a Game 7 tonight.
After staving off elimination on Friday night, the Houston Astros will host the New York Yankees on Saturday, with the winner heading to the World Series to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
First pitch is scheduled for about 8:08 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports . If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a television, you can watch the game online for free via one of the following cable-free live-TV services if you’re in a select market:
Fubo TV: Fox Sports 1 is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package.
DirecTV Now: Fox Sports 1 is included in all four of the channel packages.
Sling TV: Fox Sports 1 is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package.
Taking the bump for the Yankees will be CC Sabathia, winner of 10 career postseason games. The veteran started Game 3 of this series, tossing six scoreless innings despite walking four. He’s never pitched in a Game 7 before, though he has started three elimination games:
2012 ALDS Game 5 vs. Baltimore Orioles (W): 9 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 9 SO
2012 ALCS Game 4 at Detroit Tigers (L): 3.2 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 5 ER, 3 SO
2017 ALDS Game 5 at Cleveland Indians (ND; Yankees win): 4.1 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 ER, 9 SO
Certainly a mixed bag there, but it was just 10 days ago that Sabathia battled against the Indians to help the Yankees advance to the ALCS. He’s only expected to go a max of six innings.
The Astros, meanwhile, will hand the ball to Charlie Morton, whose lone start this series was a diaster, as he allowed six hits and two walks and gave up seven earned runs in 3.2 innings in Game 4.
While that certainly won’t inspire a lot of confidence, this will be his first start this postseason at home, where he went 10-3 during the regular season with a 3.34 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 106 strikeouts in 97.0 innings.
Of course, all that said, with this being an elimination game, both starters will undoubtedly have extremely short leashes. No matter how things go early, the bullpens will assuredly play a major role in deciding the AL champion.