Astros vs. Yankees ALCS Game 6 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Who Has the Edge on Bullpen Day?

Astros vs. Yankees ALCS Game 6 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Who Has the Edge on Bullpen Day? article feature image

Brad Penner, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Boone

Astros vs. Yankees Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions for Game 6

Probable starters: Chad Green (4-4, 4.17 ERA) vs. Jose Urquidy (2-1, 3.95 ERA)

  • Yankees odds: +126
  • Astros odds:  -140
  • Over/Under:  8.5
  • First pitch:  8:08 p.m. ET on FS1

Odds as of Saturday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Yankees staved off elimination for another day in Game 5, hitting a pair of home runs to take a 4-1 first-inning lead that they never relinquished.

Wednesday’s rainout now comes into effect as the teams travel to Houston, without an off day before the final two games in this series, as both managers look to deploy their entire bullpen in what will be a highly tactical Game 6 matchup.

Every pitching change that either manager makes on Saturday, in a hugely important bullpen game, will be put under a microscope.

The Yankees are thought to have the superior bullpen, but that mostly applies to standard bullpen situations. Do the Astros have the better group of relievers to get through a full nine-inning game?

The Openers

This section has been reclassified from Starters to Openers for bullpen day only.

Urquidy has rebounded well from 2017 Tommy John Surgery, experiencing a velocity uptick in 2019 while regaining his elite command and control – which was once thought to be the best in the Astros system.

Each of his fastball, changeup, and slider have returned a positive pitch value in 2019, and though the changeup was always thought to be his best pitch, the slider has the better underlying metrics.

Urquidy only threw his slider 15% of the time in his rookie season, but you might see him begin to increase his usage on this offering:

José Urquidy, White Castle Special. 🤢🍔🍔🍔

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 12, 2019

When he properly commands that pitch to the glove side of the plate, Urquidy generates a high percentage of whiffs:

He carried a 40:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first 33 MLB innings and is more than capable of handling a starter’s pitch count in a single outing.

I would expect the Astros to leave Urquidy in for as long as he’s pitching well, but also to pull him at the first sign of trouble.

The Mexican hurler has quality stuff that the Yankees offense has not seen, and that unfamiliarity can help get the Astros to the finish line:

José Urquidy, 10Ks in 19 Seconds.

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 12, 2019

Chad Green is a true relief pitcher who has functioned as an opener at times for the Yankees, and he has an interesting profile.

Green is a power pitcher with tremendous strikeout ability and command over the zone, ranking in the 91st percentile in fastball velocity and spin rate, but he has also ranked amongst the worst pitchers in hard-hit rate, exit velocity and barrel rate for three consecutive seasons.

In terms of ERA, he has been about as unlucky in 2019 (4.17) as he was fortunate in 2018 (2.50):

Though by virtually any measure, he was about a half-run per game worse than 2018, overall, due to increased home run and walk rates.

Green threw 35 pitches over three innings in his longest outing of the season but has already tossed 53 pitches in this series and seems unlikely to go more than two innings on Saturday.

The Bullpens

On the season, the Astros bullpen ranks 11th in FIP, first in xFIP and first in K-BB%. By the same metrics, the Yankees rank ninth, fourth and sixth.

The Astros bullpen got a breather In Game 5, as Justin Verlander threw seven innings in a road loss, leaving one relief inning for Brad Peacock.

Roberto Osuna, Will Harris, Josh James, Ryan Pressly and Joe Smith each pitched three of the first four games in this ALCS, and they have now all had two out of the past three days off – meaning that they should each be fresh for Game 6.

James has looked electric in the playoffs, with eight strikeouts in four innings:

Josh James, Filthy 90mph Changeup…and pitching with emotion. 🔥

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 18, 2019

His 16.5% swinging-strike rate ranked 15th amongst all relievers this year.

Pressly seemed to regain his confidence in Game 4, getting the Astros out of a big spot by notching a couple of strikeouts:

Ryan Pressly, Overpowering 95mph Fastball…and Scream. 🔥

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 18, 2019

Hector Rondon has warmed up often but barely pitched, and the Astros could use Bryan Abreu and/or Brad Peacock in a combined bulk role if necessary.

For the Yankees, Zach Britton and Tommy Kahnle each made their fourth appearance in this series on Friday night, while Aroldis Chapman made his second.

The Yankees replaced CC Sabathia on their ALCS roster with Ben Heller, giving them a fresh arm for the final two games in this series.

Heller has returned from 2018 Tommy John Surgery, recording nine strikeouts in six September appearances.

His wicked slider could prove to be a difference-maker in Game 6, as the Astros have already had multiple looks at the rest of the Yankees’ pitchers:

Offseason signing Adam Ottavino is the biggest question mark.

In his last three appearances, Ottavino has only recorded one out while allowing four hits and four runs. Can he get back on track if the Yankees need him again?

Either way, the Yankees have the higher quality short-stint relievers, but the Astros have more pitchers who can provide multiple innings of quality relief.

I project the Astros staff for an ERA of 3.65, and the Yankees staff for an ERA of 3.95 – giving a slight edge to Houston in the pitching matchup.

Projected Lineups

Data per FantasyLabs

Umpire and Weather Report

Data per Sports Insights

The last time that the Astros played a playoff game at home with the roof open was in 2005, and the dome will be closed on Sunday night.

Marvin Hudson is set to work as the plate umpire in Game 6.

Since 2005, his Over/Under record is 247-224-12 (52.4%) to the over, including a 6-0 record in postseason games.

Road teams are 235-248 (48.7%) on the moneyline with Hudson behind the dish, generating a consistent $100 bettor +$1,733.

Road underdogs, at 144-184 (43.9%, +$1,038) have also been profitable with Hudson as the plate umpire.

Other Trends to Know

Minute Maid Park is the most profitable park for unders in our database at 629-552-58 (53.2%), generating nearly $4,900 for a consistent $100 bettor. Unders are 13-13-2 in the postseason.

The Yankees are 16-8 (66.7%) in games started by Chad Green, including an 11-4 (73.3%) record in 2019.

Overs are 13-10-1 (56.5%) in Green’s 24 career starts.

Overs are 50-31-3 (61.7%) when the Yankees have played anywhere but Yankee Stadium this season.

Series Moneyline Corner

Before Game 4, I noted that I would list the Astros as a -614 series favorite (implied 86%) going home with a 3-2 series lead.

Oddsmakers re-opened the Astros as a -650 favorite (implied 86.7%) before Game 6 and listed the Yankees as a +500 underdog (implied 16.7%).

Therefore, I don’t see series moneyline value on either team, but I would see a three percent edge on the Astros at a series price of -488 (implied 83%), or on the Yankees at +809 (implied 11%).

Model Projected Odds

Favorite Bets

I projected the Astros as a -120 favorite in this game, and I set the total at 7.5 runs. Therefore, I see actionable value on the under, and slight value on the Yankees moneyline. 

I would recommend the Astros moneyline if the number moves down to -104 (implied 51.1%), which represents a 3.5% gap between my projection and listed odds.

Similarly, I would recommend the Yankees moneyline if their number moves to +139 (implied 41.9%) or better, which also represents a 3.5% gap in expected value over my projection.

Based upon that 3.5% standard, I would set the cutoff price on the F5 moneyline at +104 for the Astros (implied 49.1%) and +128 for the Yankees (implied 43.9%).

I played under 9 (-110) for a half unit, which represents a 6.5% edge against my projected total of 7.5, and would continue to play the under at 9 (-120) or at 8.5 (-110).

Betting the under on those numbers represents an expected edge between 3.75% to 4.4% compared to my projected total.

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