Perhaps the effects of playing for the fifth time in six days got to New York on Wednesday, or maybe it was just running into Justin Verlander who had 11 K’s with just 3 hits allowed over 6.0 IP. Either way, Houston has a 1-0 series lead heading into the Game 2 Yankees at Astros betting after the 4-2 win in Game 1.
Houston picked up the win as -179 favorites in the opener behind Verlander and are down to -144 with Framber Valdez on the mound Thursday night. New York will try to get their offense going to tie up this series 1-1 as +122 underdogs.
New York Offense Needs to Step It Up
The Yankees managed just 5 hits in Game 1, and although Verlander is the likely AL Cy Young Award winner the Mariners were able to tag him for 6 runs in just 4.0 IP in the divisional round. Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge were a combined 0-8 from the top two spots in the order on Wednesday while Matt Carpenter really struggled going 0-4 with 4 K’s.
With Game 1 in the rearview, New York shifts their attention to getting to Valdez in the Yankees at Astros Game 2 matchup. The Yankees faced Valdez once this season, getting 3 ER over 6.0 IP in what ended up being a 7-6 NYY victory. Giancarlo Stanton has gone 4-8 with a HR in his career against Valdez so he could be in line for a big night.
Aaron Boone got just 4.1 IP out of starter Jameson Taillon in Game 1, so he’ll hope for a little longer outing from Luis Severino (7-3, 3.18 ERA). Severino allowed 8 hits and 3 ER to the Guardians last Saturday and was 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA vs. Houston this season. Severino has a 5.17 ERA in 10 postseason appearances.
Houston In the Driver’s Seat
Things will get interesting when the ALCS shifts to the Bronx this weekend, but for now Houston will try to take care of business at Minute Maid Park to ensure they retain home field advantage. With Wednesday’s win the Astros are now 6-2 against the Yankees in 2022.
Jeremy Pena fueled Houston in the series opener, going 3-4 and hitting one of three Astros HRs (Yuli Gurriel, Chas McCormick). It was a decent offensive showing for Houston after their 1-0 win to eliminate Seattle on Saturday, and having the last three nights off was huge for the Astros after their 18 inning marathon in game three vs. the Mariners.
Valdez (17-6, 2.82 ERA) makes his second appearance of this postseason after giving up 2ER over 5.2 IP in a win over Seattle last Thursday. Valdez has a 4.38 ERA in 10 career playoff appearances, and he actually had a worse ERA at home (3.54) than on the road (2.27) this season.
Free Game 2 Yankees at Astros Betting Pick
A slight 53% of the betting public likes New York here, which is somewhat interesting. Sure Verlander is tough to get to in the postseason, but the Yankees have also played a lot of games lately by playoff baseball standards. There’s more value on Houston on Thursday (-144) than there was in the opener (-179) and taking the home team seems to be the way to go.
Free Pick: Astros -144