The American League Championship Series moves back to Texas as the New York Yankees look to win their fourth straight game in the series to advance to the World Series. After winning the first two games of the series, the Houston Astros now find themselves trailing 3-2 as they look to avoid being knocked from the playoffs.
Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98) will go for the New York Yankees. Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36) will look for his second win of the series for the Astros. The game is to be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston and first pitch is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET.
For the second straight series the New York Yankees have fallen behind 0-2 and now look to battle back with a sweep to advance, this time to the World Series. The Yankees fell behind to the Cleveland Indians by dropping the first two games in Cleveland before returning home to win two, and then beating Corey Kluber in Game 5 in Cleveland to advance to the ALCS. Now they look to knock the Astros from the playoffs after dropping the first two in Houston, then sweeping in New York.
For the first two games of the series, the Yankees simply could not hit. They scored two runs in Houston, but returned home to New York and their bats came alive. Aaron Judge has been on fire of late, hitting his first home run in Game 3 of the series and has now hitting .313 after struggling through the first seven games of the postseason.
He is not the only one, however. The Yankees are getting a lot more production now throughout their lineup, including from Gary Sanchez who had two hits and home run in Game 5. Shortstop DiDi Gregorius had two hits in Game 5 as well and has raised his average to .300 in the postseason.
While the bats have come alive, the Yankees pitching staff is performing well as well. Masahiro Tanaka has been brilliant in the ALCS, and now it is Luis Severino’s turn to deliver a big outing to send his team to the World Series. Sevy allowed one run in two innings in his prior start, but was simply outdueled by Justin Verlander. He’s got exceptional stuff and could be the guy who sends the Yankees to the Series for the first time since 2009.
The Astros have to be wondering what the heck happened to them. They were rolling through the playoffs, taking three of four from the Boston Red Sox before winning the first two games of this series for the Yankees. Now they find themselves trailing after their ace Dallas Keuchel was defeated in New York in Game 5.
They hope that their second ace, Justin Verlander, will be the key and helping them to keep alive in the playoffs and force a Game 7 at home. The big right-hander has been absolutely brilliant so far this postseason. After winning two games in the opening round, he looked brilliant in Game 2, allowing just five hits and a run in the complete-game victory. Houston needs another spectacular outing from Verlander if they are going to stay alive.
Another area where this team needs to improve is the fact that this hitting has gone silent. The leading hitter in the ALCS is Jose Altuve at .278. That is just not going to do the trick. George Springer has been nonexistent at the top of the order, hitting only .111, and Josh Reddick his hitless and 17 at-bats. They need a much bigger performance out of this lineup or their World Series hopes will be coming to an end.
New York Yankees at Houston Astros betting Trends and Prediction
The New York Yankees are riding high after their performance at home, but they returned to Houston now where they scored just two runs in the first two games of the series. They did virtually nothing against Verlander in his first outing of the series, and it will be likely that the right-hander will have another outstanding performance when the stakes are as high as they get. Expect Houston to force that Game 7, but don’t expect them to win by more than a single run, thus take the Yankees and the runs. To be honest, a 7.5 total is ridiculous
My Pick: Yankees +1.5 (+130)
Total: Under 7.5 (-125)
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