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Astros vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Will Justin Verlander & Luis Severino Stifle Hitters? (Friday, June 24)

Astros vs. Yankees MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Will Justin Verlander & Luis Severino Stifle Hitters? (Friday, June 24) article feature image
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Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Verlander

  • The Yankees are short home favorites in tonight's matchup against the Astros.
  • New York sends Luis Severino to the mound in a very intriguing pitching matchup against Houston's Justin Verlander.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Astros vs. Yankees Odds

Astros Odds +110
Yankees Odds -130
Over/Under 7.5
Time 7:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

If game one of this series was any indication of how close these two clubs are to one another, then tonight’s matchup will be even better.

Thursday night, we saw the Yankees battle back from three-run deficits on two separate occasions. The second one was part of a four-run bottom of the ninth that would ultimately end in an Aaron Judge walk-off double.

Tonight, we have a marquee matchup on the mound as the ageless Justin Verlander will face off against Luis Severino. Verlander is coming off his shortest outing of the season as he allowed seven runs (four earned) and nine hits in three-plus innings against the White Sox.

Severino is also entering this start off a bit of a clunker. He gave up five runs on three hits and walked a season-high four batters in five innings against the Blue Jays. However, he did strike out nine guys, so his stuff was still great, but his command was not.

Will both of these elite starters right the ship and give us the pitching duel we all expect? Let’s dive in to find out.

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Navigating Astros Lefties is Key for Severino

What Yordan Alvarez has been doing this season has been incredible, and if not for Aaron Judge, Alvarez would be getting much more MVP hype. He comes into this game with 22 homers and 54 RBI while hitting .317.

He’s also been scorching hot in his last seven games as he’s bashed five homers and driven in 12 runs while batting .333. All Alvarez does is hit the ball hard, as he’s tied for the hardest average exit velocity in the majors with Giancarlo Stanton.

Alvarez is not alone. Kyle Tucker and Michael Brantley have also made a great deal of hard contact this season. Not letting these three do damage will be the key for Severino in this outing.

It is not like Severino will be overmatched by them at all. Severino enters ranking in the top 13 percent of all qualified pitchers in every expected statistic and strikeout rate. Also, Brantley is the only one with any history against Severino. He’s hit .313 with two extra-base hits in 18 plate appearances. Alvarez is 0-for-2 with a walk, and Tucker has never faced him.

The lack of history will play to Severino’s advantage as his stuff is tremendous and could give them fits the first two times through at minimum.

Verlander to Continue Historical Domination of Yankees

Verlander returned from Tommy John surgery at the ripe age of 39 and looks to have not missed a beat. He enters this start with an 8-3 record and 2.30 ERA. His stuff is identical to the last time we saw him fully healthy in 2020, and the results are as well.

Verlander’s command is still top-notch, making his arsenal so difficult to deal with. We’ll see him utilize three pitches in any count, and each can be thrown for strikes. None of his pitches have a BAA higher than .219

So now that we’ve established that Verlander is similar to the pitcher he was in years past, then his great history against the Yankees will carry over into this start. Verlander has totaled 184 at-bats against the current Yankees lineup and only allowed them to hit .174.

Some notable averages in there: Gallo .097, Judge .167, Stanton .097, Torres .167. The only man in the New York lineup with good career numbers against Verlander is DJ LeMahieu.

Also, in those career numbers, Verlander has a 31.5 percent strikeout rate and a 33.7 percent whiff rate. The three most prominent contributors to those numbers are Gallo, Judge and Stanton.

Astros-Yankees Pick

After Thursday night’s game which was highlighted by multiple three-run homers, tonight’s game will have a very different look to it. Severino’s stuff has been top-tier this season, and he has more than enough to navigate the Astros’ dangerous lefties.

Verlander is a veteran who knows how to deal with this potent Yankees lineup. I expect him to turn in a strong performance after his most recent outing and help keep this game well under the total.

Pick: Under 8 (Play to 7.5)

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