Yankees vs Astros Odds, Picks: Bet Bronx Bombers on Sunday Night Baseball
Via Steven King/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Yankees relief pitcher Michael King (34) pitches in the first inning during the Detroit Tigers versus the New York Yankees game on Monday August 29, 2023 at Comerica Park in Detroit, MI.
Yankees vs Astros Odds
I still expect the Astros to win the AL West. They have the experience, pedigree and best all-around roster in the division.
The Astros are also 32-21 since July 1 as they have been playing consistent .600 ball.
The Yankees are a dead team walking, playing consistent .375 ball over the past two months (20-33). But they’ve called up some prospects, so they’re not selling every game for a draft pick yet. Plus, the Yanks hate the Astros, so I don’t expect the Yankees to be flat in this one.
Ultimately, it’s impossible to handicap motivation, but I do like the matchup for the Bronx Bombers on Sunday Night Baseball against the Houston Astros.
The Yankees have struggled in the post-rule-change world because they lack depth and speed. They’ve pigeonholed themselves into a spot where they only have right-handed power hitters, so they smash lefties but struggle against righties and don’t hit for average.
The Yanks have slugged 50 homers off southpaws this year, helping produce MLB’s third-best ISO against the side. However, they’re a bottom-10 offense against righties (90 wRC+) and have the worst BABIP in MLB (.261).
Top overall prospect Jasson Dominguez doesn’t solve those problems, but his call-up is a step in the right direction.
Dominguez is a switch-hitter with good bat speed and a surprising combination of patience and power. He’s also quick (60-grade Speed tool) despite his short, stocky frame (5’10”, 190 lbs.). Plus, he’s a competent center fielder.
FanGraphs describes Dominguez as “the Zion Williamson of baseball.” Others have called him “The Martian.”
The point is taken.
Oh, did I mention he’s only 20 years old!?
Jasson Dominguez goes oppo for a HR off Verlander in his first career MLB game. This kid is 20! Are you kidding me??
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) September 2, 2023
Dominguez won’t save the Yankees, but he boosts them in my power ratings for now. He has a deep skill set filled with tools the Yankees are missing.
Starting Pitcher: Michael King (RHP)
The Yankees will go with a bullpen day behind Michael King, and I don’t hate the approach.
At its best, the Yankees bullpen is one of the five best in MLB. This bullpen has five stellar arms between King, Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta, Ian Hamilton and Tommy Kahnle.
King actually pitched four innings in his last opening, allowing only three hits over four innings to the Tigers. The rest of the bullpen shut the doors on Detroit, resulting in a 4-2 Yankees win.
I'll be looking to back the Yankees on King days more often because I think Boone is on to something with this approach.
The Astros haven’t been hitting the ball uber hard, but they’ve been very disciplined at the plate.
Behind a 16.3% Strikeout Rate, a 9% Walk Rate and a 9% Swinging-Strike Rate, the Astros lead the league in OBP over the past two weeks (.380). The lineup puts together smart at-bats, consistently getting on base and handing the stick off to the next guy.
Five Astros posted a wRC+ north of 150 in August, headlined by Jose Altuve (175).
Altuve has found his MVP form again, and he hit for the cycle last week against Boston.
Jose Altuve homers to complete the cycle!
— MLB (@MLB) August 29, 2023
Yup, looks like he’s healthy.
The other four players on the list above are Alex Bregman (169), Yainer Diaz (150), Jeremy Pena (150) and Yordan Alvarez (150).
Where did the Astros find Diaz? The 23-year-old has 20 dingers in only 330 PAs across 90 games this season. If only he were a better defensive catcher – that’s why Martin Maldonado continues to get the starts behind the plate in Houston.
Starting Pitcher: Cristian Javier (RHP)
It’s hard to project this season as anything other than a disaster for Cristian Javier.
He’s settled down after blowups against Texas and St. Louis, but he’s settled into a 5.40 ERA and 6.43 xFIP in the eight starts since (40 IP). He’s allowed between two and four earned runs in every start and didn’t once pitch more than six innings.
Javier’s stuff looks better (117 Stuff+ over the past 30 days), with his four-seam and slider looking more in line with what we expected in the pre-season.
But the man still can’t find the zone. His 91 Location+ over the past 30 days is backed up by a 14.3% Walk Rate over the past 60.
Javier is at his best when forcing Whiffs with his fastball and generating strikes with his slider. But, more often than not this year, he’s doing either one or neither of those things.
Yankees vs Astros
Betting Pick & Prediction
A New York bullpen day is a dangerous thing for Houston. The Yankees have rock-solid arms who won’t have to face a perilous opposing lineup too many times.
Meanwhile, Javier is a mess, and the ‘Stros bullpen has been lackluster recently. Houston checks in with a 4.56 reliever ERA and a 1.41 reliever WHIP over the past two weeks, and the Astros deployed five arms in yesterday’s 5-4 loss.
The Astros have a monster lineup advantage, but Dominguez increases the danger factor in the Yankees lineup.
And don’t look now, but the Yankees have out-scored the Astros twice this series.
I expect the Bombers to do it again, and complete the sweep on Sunday Night Baseball.