Yankees vs. Astros Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Astros are a -175 favorite to win the series. The Yankees are a +145 underdog to win the series. Houston is a -180 favorite to win Game 1 and New York is a +155 underdog.
The Astros lead the season series 5-2 and the total went under in the first two meetings, but since has gone over the last five times.
New York rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to stun Cleveland in five games in the ALDS, taking Game 5 by a count of 5-2 on the road Wednesday. Houston advanced to the ALCS by downing the Red Sox in four games in their ALDS series, clinching it with a 5-4 win Monday in Boston.
Pitching Game 1 for New York will be Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA), while Houston goes with Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90). He was oustanding in Game 2 against Cleveland as he threw seven shutout innings with three hits allowed, one walk and seven strikeouts in a 1-0 victory. Tanaka has a bloated 6.48 ERA in 83 1/3 road innings. He was crushed for eight earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk over 1 2/3 innings in a loss earlier this year to Houston.. Keuchel had a 1.12 WHIP with 125 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings in the regular season. He gave up one earned run on three hits with seven strikeouts and three walks over 5 2/3 innings during a 8-2 win over Boston in Game 1 of the ALDS. Keucheul is 6-3 with a 2.26 ERA in 71 2/3 home innings this season. He allowed one unearned run on five hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over six innings in a win over the Yankees earlier this year.
Rounding out the Yankees rotation are Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98), CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69) and Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55). Houston will also run out Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36), Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00) and Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62).
Didi Gregorius hit three home runs during the ALDS for New York, while Greg Bird added a pair of home runs. Brett Gardner was 8-for-25 in the series and had a key two-run single late in Game 5 to help clinch it. For the Astros, Jose Altuve hit three home runs in the series opener versus the Red Sox and was 8-for-15 plus four walks in the series. Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman both had two home runs to help lead Houston to the series win.
The starting pitching in this series tilts the Astros' way with the addition of the veteran Verlander, although when the Yankees' pitchers at are their best it makes for a very formidable group. Tanaka has been outstanding in his last couple starts and Severino rebounded from a round AL Wild Card outing to slow down Cleveland in Game 3 of the ALCS. But the lineup of the Astros is a minefield to navigate through and it's hard to see them being slowed down for an entire series as Boston found out very quickly. With the Astros bullpen a plus unit and the defense being strong at nearly every position, it's difficult to find a flaw with Houston. New York might win a couple games in the ALCS when hitters like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are able to carry them, but ultimately it's hard to envision Houston not winning the series.
MLB ALCS SERIES PREDICTION: HOUSTON ASTROS -180