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Playoff Gameday Thread, #1: Go Wild in the Bronx

The 2015 MLB playoffs start at 5pm Arizona time in New York, with the American League wild-card game between the Astros and the Yankees. Tune in to ESPN for coverage.

Al Bello/Getty Images
Dallas Keuchel
LHP, 20-8, 2.48
Masahiro Tanaka
RHP, 12-7, 3.51
Jose Altuve - 2B Brett Gardner - CF
George Springer - RF Chris Young - LF
Carlos Correa - SS Carlos Beltran - RF
Colby Rasmus - LF Alex Rodriguez - DH
Evan Gattis - DH Brian McCann - C
Carlos Gomez - CF Chase Headley - 3B
Luis Valbuena - 3B Greg Bird - 1B
Chris Carter - 1B Rob Refsnyder - 2B
Jason Castro - C Didi Gregorius - SS

Just a shame that Stephen Drew's season is likely over due to a concussion, because it would have been fun to have a Yankees' starting line-up, which feature three Diamondback "rejects". We'll just have to settle for Young and Gregorius, as New York tries to make it back to the Division Series for the first time since 2012 - this has already been the longest playoff drought in the Bronx since well before the Diamondbacks came into existence, and indeed the entire divisional era. Though I'm not exactly an Astros' fan, for a variety of reasons, I'm still hoping they can deny the Yankees their first post-season victory since the 2012 ALDS.

Because the Diamondbacks did manage to beat the Astros on Sunday, this game takes place in Yankee Stadium, and that certainly gives them an advantage. As we noted over the weekend, Houston have played a great deal worse on the road, though New York's home record of 45-36 is little better than average, ranking them seventh in the American League. Drew isn't the only key absentee for them: 1B Mark Teixeira has a fractured shin, and so New York has to go with 22-year-old rookie Bird there, who has played all of 46 major-league games. And next to him, in place of Drew, will by Refsnyder, who hasn't even got 46 MLB at-bats to his credit.

For Houston, Gomez appears to have overcome doubts as to his health and will play CF. They also send their ace, Keuchel, to the mound and we saw how dominant the potential AL Cy Young winner can be, when he faced Arizona on Saturday. However, he will be working on short rest here. There's nothing quite like a winner-takes-all game: it's possibly more fun for neutrals like us, rather than fans of either team, for whom this will be an ordeal as much as an entertainment, until the final out is recorded. One team - hopefully the Evil Empire (East Coast division) - will see their postseason ended before it has even begun, and the other will head on to the ALDS against the Royals.