Thursday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Yankees vs. Astros, Game 2: Luis Garcia, Houston Have Edge Against Tired Bombers (July 21)

Thursday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Yankees vs. Astros, Game 2: Luis Garcia, Houston Have Edge Against Tired Bombers (July 21) article feature image

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Garcia

  • The Yankees are slight favorites in Game 2 of tonight's doubleheader against the Astros.
  • Domingo German takes the mound for New York and will be opposed by Houston's Luis Garcia.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Yankees vs. Astros Odds

Yankees Odds-125
Astros Odds+105
Time6:40 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The finish line is in sight as we start the second half of the season. However, we get quite a treat as two of the best teams in baseball are playing two.

The New York Yankees have pulled a card from their sleeve for the nightcap as Domingo German will get the ball. German has not pitched yet this season as he's been recovering from right shoulder impingement syndrome.

As for the Astros, they will hand the ball to Luis Garcia, who has been a key factor in Houston's success. His 3.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP are testaments to his tremendous value in the middle of the rotation. However, he'll face quite a test against the Bronx Bombers, who have a few guys fresh off the plane from LA.

Will the travel schedule of the Yankees sluggers play in favor of the Astros in game two? Let's dive in to find out.

External Factors to Wear Out Yanks' Bats

The Yankees were well represented at the All-Star Game on Tuesday. Then they flew back from Los Angeles to Houston on Wednesday. So now they get to play a doubleheader in the middle of a nationwide heat wave.

However, everything is bigger in Texas, and apparently, so is the heat. It will still be 105 degrees by the time this game begins around 7 p.m.. Oh, and lastly, this is the second game they will be playing in this heat today.

On top of the heat, travel and Game 1, they will have to face Garcia, who enters this start with an xERA 3.49.

An uptick in his stuff has led to great results. Garcia's entire arsenal is up nearly a full mile per hour. His fastball spin rate is among the top 20 percent of all qualified pitchers. It should be no surprise that with those improvements he also ranks in the top 30 percent of the league in whiff and strikeout rate.

We've also seen Garcia have success against this New York lineup. Back on June 30th, he threw five-plus innings of one-run ball and struck out six Yankees.

That was in the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. Now back at home, with all of the other external factors considered, we should see a repeat performance from Garcia.

Look for Revitalized Astros to Spoil German's Return

The Astros' lineup is one of the most talented in all of baseball but only had one guy, Kyle Tucker, attend the All-Star game. The extra few days of rest allowed this banged-up Jose Altuve to recover, and in a big surprise, Houston will get AL MVP candidate Yordan Alvarez back from a hand injury.

This rejuvenated lineup will get to greet German in his first start since July 2021. German struggled mightily last season as he pitched to a 4.58 ERA across 18 starts. His average exit velocity and hard-hit rate were both inside the bottom 50 percent of all qualified pitchers.

Given all the time he's missed, I expect him to be rusty, and this is a lineup that you cannot make mistakes against. The Astros enter this matchup third in wRC+ and sixth in wOBA. They are also fourth in ISO, which could be given a boost given the heat in Houston. For his career, German has a 16.3 home run to flyball ratio.

Look for the Astros to bring the thunder early against German.

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Yankees-Astros Pick

The Astros have a sizable edge in this one as this is a bad spot for German to make his return. Houston has a significant boost in rest, and the return of Alvarez is massive for the team as a whole.

I'm banking on them hitting a rusty German while Garcia contains a rundown Yankee order. Take the Stros' to be up halfway through this one.

Pick: Houston F5 -0.5 (+110)

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