Yankees vs Astros Prediction, Odds for ALCS Game 1
Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Yordan Alvarez
- The Yankees and Astros meet in Game 1 of the ALCS tonight in Houston.
- Favored Houston has ace Justin Verlander on the mound, while underdog New York will counter with Jameson Taillon.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a prediction.
Yankees vs. Astros Odds
|Over/Under||7 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7:37 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
After being pushed to the brink, the New York Yankees slugged their way past the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday. It has earned them a date with the Houston Astros, a team that dominated its season series and is well-rested after not playing since Saturday.
In an attempt to give their staff a much need lift, the Yankees will turn to Jameson Taillon tonight. Taillon was initially slated to start Game 5 of the ALDS, but Nestor Cortes was pegged as the better option after the rain out. Nonetheless, Taillon will need to step up and flip the script on his rough outing the last time he faced Houston.
Speaking of rough outings, we have not seen Justin Verlander look worse than he did in his first ALDS start against Seattle. After a Cy Young-caliber regular season, he got tagged for six earned runs on 10 hits and was chased in the fourth inning. But, of course, we know the type of competitor Verlander is, and we may just be betting on him to bounce back in a big way.
Tough Turnaround For Yankees
The Yankees did what they do in the ALDS to get past the Guardians. Fifteen of their 18 runs scored came on homers. However, while Aaron Judge, Harrison Bader and Giancarlo Stanton supplied the power, overall the offense was pretty dormant. There were not many rallies nor a ton of traffic on base. On top of that, Judge is still slumping despite hitting multiple homers.
This lineup must try and get up for this matchup against a well-rested and motivated Verlander. In his only start against the Bronx Bombers this season, Verlander dominated them as he allowed just one run and scattered four hits over seven innings of work.
That outing added to a large sample size of success against this lineup. The Yankees have complied 155 at-bats against Verlander. Thus far, they are hitting just .161 and have a 30.1 percent strikeout rate.
In addition to his dominance over the Yankees, the two-time Cy Young award winner will get to make this start at home, and he was excellent on his home mound this season. In 15 home starts, Verlander went 10-1 with a 1.64 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and struck out over 31 percent of the batters he faced.
Coming off a tough series and an overnight flight to Houston, the outlook for New York is bleak entering Game 1.
Astros Have Success Against Taillon
If we're talking about scuffling lineups, the Astros are not far from New York in that category. Let's not forget the Astros managed just one run and 11 hits over 18 innings in Game 3 of the ALDS.
If not for the heroics of Yordan Alvarez in Games 1 and 2, the Astros may have been eliminated. Much like New York, the runs were produced by three men: Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman.
While the rest of the lineup may have been held in check during their last series, the Astros have had a few days to reset and will now face a pitcher they've had success against.
Taillon's only start against Houston did not go well. The Astros tallied six earned runs on 10 hits. However, that was just the latest addition to a sizable track record of success against Taillon.
The Astros have combined for 75 at-bats against Taillon, and a majority of them have done damage. Overall, they are hitting .320 with a .613 slugging percentage off him. Even though they are due for some regression tonight, their average exit velocity of 91.2 mph and launch angle of 14.8 degrees suggest they hit a ton of hard-liners off him.
What's most notable is that Alvarez, Bregman and Tucker have all homered off him. Also, Jose Altuve has hit .444 off him, and he's the one guy they need to get going.
The last thing to factor in here for Taillon is that he has not made a start since October 4th. He made a relief appearance in the series against Cleveland and failed to record an out as he allowed all three batters to reach base and was responsible for two runs. So if he has any bit of rust tonight, he may be making another quick exit.
The Yankees are in a tough spot here. They just finished a grueling series that taxed their pitching staff, and now, without an off day, they face a well-rested Houston club with its ace on the mound.
Looking at the matchup, Verlander is bound to bounce back tonight. He will be at home and against a lineup that has not hit him well for an extended period of time.
On the other side, you have a starter who has not made a start in 15 days, going up against a lineup that has hit him very hard on multiple occasions.
The best way to play this is to back Houston to be up halfway through this one.
Pick: Astros F5 -0.5 (-113) (Play to -145)