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Madison Bumgarner deserves a contract extension. He’s not getting it.

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Madison Bumgarner is an ace on a Hall of Fame trajectory. He is also, perhaps, the most underpaid player in the game. He’s making $11.5 million this year. He’s on $12 million team options for 2018 and 2019. This despite being a huge reasons the Giants have won three World Series titles since 2010.

Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com reports that both the Giants and Madison Bumgarner would like to get a contract extension sorted out for the ace. Yesterday, however, Bumgarner told reporters that he’s had no recent contract negotiations with the Giants. What gives?

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement mostly. As Buster Olney noted today, the Giants — and every other team — is treating the new, barely-growing luxury tax threshold as a defacto salary cap:

The luxury tax threshold was raised only slightly in the first years of the new deal, to $195 million this year, $197 million in 2018 and then $206 million, $208 million and $210 million in 2019-2021. There is a lot of indication since the agreement went into place that some teams are treating those thresholds as a salary cap, and the Giants are bumping against it . . . Because of how contracts are counted under the new CBA, with the average of each multi-year deal standing as the number used for luxury-tax purposes, the Giants can’t simply backload an extension to guarantee Bumgarner that he eventually be compensated.

Baseball teams have, for years, sought to cap player salaries, but never knew how to do it without illegally coordinating things. Tony Clark and the MLBPA gave teams a nice fat bogey to shoot for and a means of accomplishing it that eliminated the need to collude.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).