Yankees vs. Astros Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.com, the Astros are a -138 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Yankees are a +118 underdog and the over-under is set at 7.5.
Houston has won six of eight meetings this year after Friday night's 2-1 victory. The total has gone over five times.
Drawing the start for New York will be Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA), while the Astros will counter with Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36). Severino carried a 1.04 WHIP with 230 strikeouts in 193 1/3 innings during the regular season. He rebounded from a horrendous AL Wild Card Game outing to alllow three earned runs on four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over seven innings in a 7-3 home win over Cleveland in Game 4 of the ALDS. Severino has a 6-1 record with a 2.24 ERA in 96 1/3 road innings this year. He was hit hard by the Astros in two starts during the regular season as he surrendered nine earned runs on 15 hits with nine strikeouts and four walks over 7 2/3 innings. Verlander had a 1.17 WHIP with 219 strikeouts in 206 innings during the regular season. He entered in relief in Game 4 at Boston and allowed one earned run on one hit with no strikeouts and two walks over 2 2/3 innings to earn the win in a 5-4 ALDS-clinching victory. Verlander also surrendered two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks over six innings in an 8-2 home win versus the Red Sox in Game 2. He had a 2.45 ERA and an 8-2 record in 95 2/3 home innings this year.
In Friday night's game, Dallas Keuchel threw seven shutout innings with four hits allowed, 10 strikeouts and one walk to notch the win on the mound. Ken Giles earned the save, allowing the Yankees' lone run on a solo home run by Greg Bird with two outs in the top of the ninth. Jose Altuve paced the Astros as he was 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored. Carlos Correa finished 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Bird was 2-for-4 with the homer for New York. Masahiro Tanaka allowed two earned runs over six innings to take the loss.
Verlander has incredibly posted a win every time he has taken the hill for the Astros since being acquired from the Tigers with minutes to spare before the clock hit September. He went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in his five regular season starts for Houston and has followed it up by getting the win both times in the postseason, including his Game 4 relief appearance. So it's difficult to fade him right now. He wants that elusive World Series title he's never been able to taste in his career and there is always the possibility that this could be the best chance the 34-year-old has left. Look for him to be locked in against a Yankees lineup that has occasionally run into trouble producing offense in the postseason, with the ALCS opener being a prime example. While Severino righted his ship in a huge way during the ALDS, he must navigate through a lineup that features the likes of Altuve plus George Springer and Carlos Correa. Hard to envision him not giving up two or three runs. Verlander can do the rest.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: HOUSTON ASTROS -138