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8:55 AM ET, October 13, 2017

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 Top News: 
John Harper / New York Daily News:
After emotional ALDS comeback, Yankees seem destined to beat Astros and advance to World Series  —  HOUSTON — The signs were there all season, really.  The harder the 2017 Yankees were punched in the gut, in particular those forgettable nights when Aroldis Chapman gave away games to the Red Sox …
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Scott LauberESPN / ESPN:
Your guide to Friday's Game 1: Astros-Yankees is closer than you think  —  HOUSTON — And then there were four.  —  The division series are over, and with them, the postseason field has been whittled down from 10 teams.  The next round begins Friday night, with the Houston Astros hosting …
Discussion: Associated Press
ESPN:
Masahiro Tanaka to take mound for Yankees in ALCS opener vs. Astros  —  Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound Friday night when the New York Yankees open their American League Championship Series against the Astros in Houston.  —  Luis Severino will start Game 2 on Saturday in Houston.
Bill Madden / New York Daily News:
Yankees are not the best team left in the playoffs, but they are the most lovable  —  Ah, the innocence of youth.  —  The Yankees are not the best team in this baseball postseason.  Not even close to it.  In fact, you can make the case the Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals, Astros and Indians …
Joe Belock / New York Daily News:
All-time Yankees-Astros team composed of players who played for both franchises  —  There's not much history between the Yankees and Astros but enough players have spent time with both teams, so here is the Daily News' all-time Yankees-Astros team as we await ALCS Game 1:  —  FIRST BASEMAN
Pedro Moura / Los Angeles Times:
Astros ace Dallas Keuchel, Yankees have a history  —  Dallas Keuchel was 14-5 as a starter in the regular season for the Astros with a 2.90 earned-run average.  He's got a career record of 3-0 in the postseason.  (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)  —  Two years ago, Houston Astros left …
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Decision to go with the inconsistent Masahiro Tanaka for Game 1 is risky, but makes sense  —  HOUSTON — Masahiro Tanaka had his worst performance of the season against the Astros on Derek Jeter Night in the Bronx, when he allowed four homers while failing to get out of the second inning.
Christian Red / New York Daily News:
Yankees vs. Astros: Breaking down the matchups between the two teams  —  Two years ago, the Yankees faced the Astros in a do-or-die, American League wild-card game at Yankee Stadium, the only other time the two clubs have met in the postseason before Friday's start of the ALCS.
Jorge L. Ortiz / USA Today:
Why the Houston Astros will win the AL Championship Series  —  HOUSTON — Breaking down the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.  —  For starters: Game 1, Friday - Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA during the season) vs. Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90), 8 p.m. ET.
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:   Dallas Keuchel's history against the Yankees made him easy pick to start ALCS Game 1
Peter Botte / New York Daily News:   AL MVP candidates Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve, couldn't be more different
Associated Press:   Astros veteran duo, traded by Yankees, happy for young stars on former club
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:   Yankees name Masahiro Tanaka Game 1 starter for ALCS vs. Astros
UPI:   ALCS Game 1: Masahiro Tanaka to start for New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros
Matt Snyder / CBSSports.com:   Yankees, Astros set ALCS rotations: Tanaka squares off against Keuchel in Game 1
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
5 keys for the Yankees to take care of the Astros in Houston to start the ALCS
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:
NLDS Game 5: How the Nationals' season unraveled in a matter of minutes  —  WASHINGTON — Thirty-eight baseball players participated in Thursday night's Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals who collectively played tens of thousands of innings leading to this …
RELATED:
ESPN:
Max Scherzer's unbelievable, impossible, unprecedented loss  —  Max Scherzer didn't deserve the loss.  This is often true of pitchers who get the loss, but this one goes in the Didn't Deserve The Loss Hall of Fame.  I mean, mathematically speaking, he really didn't deserve the loss.  —  Just look at this:
Discussion: CBSSports.com
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Rotation, roster decisions await Cubs vs. Dodgers in NLCS rematch  —  Perhaps somewhere over the Midwest, the celebration has subsided and Chicago Cubs officials have started preparations for the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Thomas Boswell / Washington Post:
All defeats are not created equal.  For Nats, this one is a special kind of painful.  —  If you can win baseball fans in the process of suffering a brutally bitter season-ending loss, perhaps the Washington Nationals did it in their exhilarating, exhausting, 9-8 donnybrook …
ESPN:
Cubs weigh in on overturned call: No reason not to challenge there  —  WASHINGTON — Even Anthony Rizzo wasn't sure he had gotten the tag.  —  With two outs and two on in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals trailing 9-8 to the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 …
Steve Gardner / USA Today:
End of an era for Jayson Werth in Washington  —  WASHINGTON — In the Washington Nationals' clubhouse following yet another painful exit in the first round of the playoffs, outfielder Jayson Werth struggled to find the right words.  —  “It's crazy to think we didn't win that game,” …
Chicago Tribune:
Fans at Wrigley watch party endure gut-wrenching twists, turns as Cubs advance  —  Robin Cordero, 24, center, covers her eyes Oct. 12, 2017, while watching the Chicago Cubs play the Washington Nationals during the first inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series.  (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs pull out all stops to win ‘nutty’ National League Division Series  —  Photos from Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Nationals at Nationals Park on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017.  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The sight of Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez bear-hugging …
Discussion: Chicago Tribune
Chris Kuc / Chicago Tribune:
Game 5 turning point: Addison Russell's 2-run double fuels Cubs' 4-run 5th  —  Photos from Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Nationals at Nationals Park on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017.  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The situation: Trailing 4-3 entering the fifth inning …
Discussion: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune:
NLDS Game 5: Cubs-Nationals recap, social media reaction  — Baseball- Chicago Cubs- National League Championship Series- Willson Contreras- Daniel Murphy- Matt Wieters- Chicago White Sox  —  Goodbye Nationals, hello Dodgers.  —  In a game for the ages, one that lasted 4 hours and 37 minutes …
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Cubs can laugh at their good fortune: On to the NLCS after absurd 9-8 win over Nationals  —  WASHINGTON — It was 2 in the morning, and the Chicago Cubs were sitting half-dressed, drenched in champagne, eating cake, washing it down with beer, and looking at one another in sheer disbelief.
Discussion: The Week
Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times:
Cubs beat the Nationals 9-8 to set up an NLCS rematch with the Dodgers
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:   Detroit Tigers manager search: Cubs' Dave Martinez must be considered
Mark Feinsand / MLB.com:
Cubs-Nats: Must-win G5 tonight, 8 ET (TBS)
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:   Nationals-Cubs NLDS Game 5: Which team has edge in winner-take-all clash?
ESPN:
Report: Rockies' Greg Holland won't exercise player option, will become free agent  —  Greg Holland, an All-Star closer for the Rockies this season, will not exercise a $15 million player option in his contract and instead will become a free agent this offseason, FanRag Sports reported Thursday.
RELATED:
Jon Heyman / FanRag Sports:
Greg Holland will opt out and aim high
ESPN:
Can the Dodgers fulfill Magic's vision?  —  LOS ANGELES — There is no way to pin down Magic Johnson at any moment.  He's up long before dawn and in the gym for a morning workout.  After that, he's everywhere and anywhere.  The Lakers' new offices, practice courts, Dodger Stadium, a business meeting, a political rally.
George A. King III / New York Post:
How ‘Siamese twin’ helped transform Gregorius into fearsome hitter … HOUSTON — During Didi Gregorius' first spring training with the Yankees in 2015, general manager Brian Cashman had a question for hitting coach Jeff Pentland.  —  “He asked me, ‘When is he going to hit?’ ”
Discussion: baseballmusings.com and Deadspin
Ari Gilberg / New York Daily News:
Thumbs Down Guy, who is a devoted Mets fan, now hopes Yankees keep winning  —  Gary Dunaier may be a Mets fan but he doesn't want his 15 minutes of fame to end just yet.  —  Dunaier, 54, became an internet sensation after cameras caught him giving a thumbs down sign following Todd Frazier's home run against the Rays at Citi Field.
Associated Press:
Gary Cederstrom, Mike Winters to be umpire crew chiefs in LCS  —  NEW YORK — Gary Cederstrom will be the umpire crew chief for the American League Championship Series and Mike Winters will handle the duties for the National League Championship Series.  —  Major League Baseball made the announcement Thursday.
Discussion: ESPN
Doug Mittler / ESPN:
Rumor Central: Jorge Velandia in contention for Phillies' managerial job?  —  Jorge Velandia, currently a special assistant to general manager Matt Klentak, has emerged as a “strong candidate” for the managerial vacancy of the Philadelphia Phillies, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
RELATED:
Matt Gelb / Philly.com:   Phillies interview Dusty Wathan, Jorge Velandia as two more internal candidates for manager
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:
Todd Frazier celebrates New York Yankees' ALDS win vs. Cleveland Indians  —  Todd Frazier discusses playing in a playoff game with the Yankees Matt Ehalt/NorthJersey.com  —  Todd Frazier celebrated the New York Yankees' ALDS win against the Cleveland Indians - the first postseason series win of his career …
 
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