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Yankees vs Astros ALCS Game 2 Prediction, Pick

Yankees vs Astros ALCS Game 2 Prediction, Pick article feature image
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Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton

  • The Yankees and Astros meet in Houston tonight for Game 2 of the ALCS.
  • Luis Severino takes the mound for New York, while Houston will go with Framber Valdez.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a prediction.

Yankees vs. Astros Game 2 Odds

Yankees Odds +160
Astros Odds -190
Over/Under 7 (-105/-115)
Time 7:37 p.m. ET
TV TBS
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Houston continues to be the thorn in New York’s side. After falling in Game 1, the Yankees are now 5-10 against the Astros in the postseason.

However, everything in Game 1 set up well for the Astros. New York was coming off a Game 5 the night before against Cleveland. They celebrated the win with some beers and boarded a late-night flight from New York to Houston. The Yankees arrived with a taxed bullpen and their No. 4 starting pitcher.

The Astros had three days off, were fully rested and had their ace and the Cy Young favorite on the mound. New York struck out 17 times as it fell down 1-0 in the series. New York is now 2-6 against Houston this year and is 0-4 at Minute Maid Park, including the regular season.

This rivalry is beginning to feel as much mental for the Yankees as it is physical. Can New York finally slay its demons, or will the Astros take a commanding lead in Game 2?

New York Yankees: Can Severino Stay Hot?

After missing the majority of the past three seasons, Luis Severino made 19 starts this season and went 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA. His 2.94 xERA was even better and he allowed a xwOBA against of just .268. In his three starts to end the regular season, after a stint on the Injured List, he went 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and finished the year with seven no-hit innings.

In his one start against Cleveland in the ALDS, Severino pitched into the sixth inning and allowed three runs while striking out six batters. During the regular season, he faced Houston twice and took a loss in both games, though he wasn’t terrible as he struck out 11 and allowed five runs over 12 innings.

The Bronx Bombers did their usual Bronx Bombing during the ALDS. After leading the league with 254 home runs, 15 of the Yankees 18 runs in the ALDS came via the home run. Their two runs in Game 1 were both off the long ball. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have both hit multiple home runs — as expected — but shockingly it is Harrison Bader who leads New York with four home runs and a 1.259 OPS.

Few teams hit the ball hard as the Yankees do. They rank third in the league in average exit velocity and have the second-best barrel rate. They were able to cut down on their strikeout woes this year, but those have crept back up a bit during the playoffs.


Houston Astros: Can Valdez Shut Down New York?

Houston will hand the ball to Framber Valdez in Game 2 and he would have been the best pitcher on a lot of teams this season. In 31 starts, he went 17-6 with a 2.82 ERA, the 11th best mark in the league. He did post a 3.31 xERA though.

Against Seattle in the ALDS, Valdez pitched into the sixth inning and allowed two runs. He had six strikeouts, but also walked three batters. He really struggled in last year’s postseason — outside of one start — and finished with a 7.78 ERA in five starts.

The Houston offense wasn’t far behind the Yankees in terms of the long ball, ranking fourth with 214. During the regular season the Astros were led by Yordan Alvarez and he’s continued that trend during the postseason, hitting two heroic bombs to give the Astros comeback wins over Seattle. They definitely need more out of Jose Altuve though as he has yet to tally a hit in the playoffs and is 0-for-19.

The Astros finished the year sixth in the league with a 112 wRC+ and had five players with a wRC+ of at least 125. However, as much as the Astros lineup can mash the ball, they are significantly better against lefties. Since the beginning of August, Houston ranks just 26th in the league in wOBA against right-handed pitching.

Yankees-Astros Pick

Valdez put up terrific numbers this season and earned his first All-Star nod. However, his expected ERA was a half run higher than his ERA and he also ranks in the bottom 20% of the league in average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage allowed.

Well, few teams hit the ball harder than the New York Yankees. It was very easy to watch Game 1 and think this offense stinks and won’t be able to score. However, I think this is a good spot to buy low.

In the ALDS against Seattle, Valdez walked three batters and gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings. During the postseason last year, he was lit up for a 7.78 ERA over five starts. He didn’t make it out of the third inning in three of his starts and allowed at least two runs in four of them.

The Yankees do two things very well.

They are patient at the plate and finished the season with the highest walk rate in the league. Valdez has the sixth highest BB/9 rate among all qualified pitchers.

New York also hits more home runs than any team in baseball. While living and dying by the home run is not always a recipe for victory, it is a pretty good recipe to put up two runs with one swing of the bat.

Stanton is 4-for-8 with a home run against Valdez in his career. Let’s hope an early walk and a Stantonian Blast puts this total over early.

Pick: Yankees First Five Team Total over 1.5

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