Astros vs. Yankees Pick
New York drew to within a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-7 series Monday night with an 8-1 victory. Houston leads the season series 7-3 and six of the 10 meetings have gone over the total.
Pitching for the Astros will be Lance McCullers (7-4, 4.25 ERA), while the Yankees are going with Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55). McCullers had a 1.30 WHIP with 132 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings during the regular season. He appeared once in the ALDS in relief as he allowed two earned runs on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks over three innings in a 10-3 Game 3 loss at Boston. McCullers had a 3-4 record with a 5.14 ERA in 68 1/3 road innings this year. He carried an 8.24 ERA after the All-Star Break, missing time with injuries. McCullers is 1-0 in two starts versus the Yankees this year with a 2.38 ERA, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits with 13 strikeouts and two walks over 11 1.3 innings. Gray had a 1.21 WHIP during the regular season with 153 strikeouts over 162 1/3 innings. He surrendered three earned runs on three hits with two strlkeouts and four walks over 3 1/3 innings of a 4-0 loss in Game 1 of the ALDS at Cleveland. Gray has a 7-5 record with a 3.90 ERA in 90 home innings this season. He gave up five earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and four walks over five innings in a loss earlier this season against the Astros.
In Game 3, the Yankees broke it open with a three-run home run by Todd Frazier in the bottom of the second to open the scoring. Aaron Judge added a three-run homer during a five-run fourth inning that added plenty of insurance runs. Judge finished 1-for-3 with a walk plus the three RBIs. Frazier was 1-for-3 with the home run, a walk, three RBIs and two runs scored. CC Sabathia threw six shutout innings with five strikeouts to post the win. Charlie Morton gave up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss. Alex Bregman had an RBI single to account for the lone Houston run, while Marwin Gonzalez drew a walk and scored the run.
The Astros are 20-6 in their last 26 games overall, while the Yankees are 20-7 in their last 27 games at home.
McCullers hasn't been the same since injuries derailed his season. It's surprising the Astros are turning to him and not Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00) for this start, but this leaves the option open to insert Peacock if McCullers struggles early. But it might be too late at that point. If Gray gets in a groove, he can be one of the better pitchers in baseball. Look for a similar game as Monday in the early innings, where New York gets a few on the board in the opening innings and the Astros struggle to catch up.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: NEW YORK YANKEES -140