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Major League Baseball
Preview
Houston at NY Yankees
When: 1:05 PM ET, Thursday, August 21, 2014
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

The New York Yankees have been one of baseball's most dominant home teams over the past 20 years but they are on pace for their first losing season at Yankee Stadium since 1991. The Houston Astros have posted back-to-back wins in New York and can complete a three-game sweep in Thursday afternoon's series finale. The slumping Yankees have dropped seven of nine to fall to 29-31 at home and are five games back in the race for the American League's second wild card.

A stagnant offense continues to plague New York, which has scored a total of 20 runs over the past nine games and is 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series. "We've got to score more than two runs. It's hard to win when you only score two runs," manager Joe Girardi told reporters. Houston entered the season with a 2-13 record versus the Yankees, but the Astros have won four of five meetings in 2014 and posted their first-ever series win at Yankee Stadium.

TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, CSN Houston, YES (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros LH Dallas Keuchel (10-8, 3.11 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Brandon McCarthy (7-12, 4.24)

Keuchel gave up three runs over seven innings at Boston last time out but remained winless over his last three starts and has won only once in six turns since the All-Star break. Keuchel has surrendered one home run in each of his last four outings after yielding a total of six in his first 19 starts of the season. Although he is 7-3 with a 3.17 ERA away from home, Keuchel has only one win over his last seven road starts.

McCarthy has dropped back-to-back outings following a four-start winning streak, although the Yankees didn't help him out by failing to score in each of the losses. Still, McCarthy has permitted two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last nine turns and is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA since he was acquired from Arizona. He is 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA against the Astros, but was tagged for five runs in six innings in a loss at Houston on June 11.

WALK-OFFS

1. Yankees OF-DH Carlos Beltran had a cortisone shot in his ailing elbow Wednesday and will sit out his second straight game.

2. Astros CF Dexter Fowler is 9-for-21 with a homer, double and triple during a five-game hitting streak.

3. Yankees C Brian McCann is 1-for-12 since coming off the seven-day concussion list.

PREDICTION: Yankees 5, Astros 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Houston 54-73 W3 29-36 25-37 16-17 12-13 22-30 4-13
NY Yankees 63-61 L2 29-31 34-30 23-26 13-12 14-16 13-7
Last Meeting
Houston NY Yankees
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/20/14 HOU 5 NYY 2 .257 0 .583 .278 1 .722
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston D. Fowler .450 9 1.426
NY Yankees J. Ellsbury .312 5 .701
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston D. Fowler 1 6 3
NY Yankees S. Drew 1 4 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 2.60 .250 40
NY Yankees 4.81 .232 47
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Altuve .338 175 .820
NY Yankees J. Ellsbury .276 129 .741
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston C. Carter 30 56 72
NY Yankees M. Teixeira 20 47 53
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 4.39 .243 896
NY Yankees 3.90 .249 1047