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Yankees vs. Astros Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet Finale Between AL Rivals (Sunday, July 11)

Yankees vs. Astros Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet Finale Between AL Rivals (Sunday, July 11) article feature image

Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon.

  • The Houston Astros host the New York Yankees in Sunday's Major League Baseball action.
  • The Yankees, who are slight underdogs, send starting pitcher Jameson Taillon to the hill to a foe that has scored just one run in its last 27 innings.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down the game below and explains why he's backing the Yankees to triumph.

Yankees vs. Astros Odds

Yankees Odds +114
Astros Odds -136
Over/Under 8.5
Time 2:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday morning via DraftKings.

After two games, the Houston Astros are still searching for their first run against the New York Yankees. In fact, Houston has scored just one run in its last 27 innings. And with one game remaining before the All-Star break, you might say that the Astros are limping toward the finish line.

That assessment wouldn’t be wrong because that’s exactly what they’re doing at the moment. Limping. It shouldn’t go unnoticed that Houston is currently without two key players in Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman due to injuries. We’ve seen this team struggle through some bad stretches earlier this season with players sidelined, so this recent lull is not entirely unexpected.

As for the Yankees, don’t expect them to feel too sorry about the Astros. After all, New York has its own problems to contend with, as it’s already eight games back in the division and 3.5 games out of the wild card. It’ll go for the sweep on Sunday, with Jameson Taillon getting the start against Houston’s Framber Valdez.

New York could be catching Valdez just at the right time as he’s coming off his worst game of the season. His last start against the Yankees wasn’t a pleasant one, and judging by the way New York is hitting left-handers this season, he could be in for another bumpy outing.

New York Yankees

The Yankees have been looking for any sign of hope in what otherwise has been a very disappointing first half of the season. They’ve been able to outpitch the Astros in this series, but also benefited from not having to face Correa and Bregman in the series.

Now, it’ll be Taillon’s turn to take advantage of a shorthanded Astros lineup. I can’t say that I’ve ever been the biggest Taillon fan, but he is coming off his best start of the season in which he pitched seven innings and allowed only one run against the Seattle Mariners. And while he’s 4-4 with a 5.05 ERA, his 4.42 FIP points to some positive regression.

I went through Taillon’s game log this season and what immediately jumped out at me was the number of times he failed to complete five innings. Those poor outings have contributed to a high ERA, but he’s probably been somewhat unlucky when you juxtapose it with his 1.30 WHIP. Another sign he’s been a bit unlucky is that opposing hitters are batting .257 against him, but .309 when they put the ball into play (BAPIP).

Normally, when you see such a disparity, it’s common to expect some regression back to the league average.

Taillon comes into this game having faced only five hitters in the Astros lineup. And while they have a.353/.421/.471 line, they’ve only scored one run against him. Given Houston’s recent struggles at the plate, it’s unlikely that the Yankees right-hander could find a better spot to face the Astros than right now when they’re missing two key bats in their lineup.

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Houston Astros

Although it’s not often that Valdez has a poor outing, it wouldn’t surprise me if he has another one in this spot. Valdez’s only start against the Yankees was in 2019, and he was hit fard for five runs in 3 1/3 innings.

New York’s current lineup has registered 15 at-bats against Valdez. They have a .400/.438/.933 line against him with a .533 ISO. While I’ll be the first to acknowledge that he’s become an even better pitcher since then, hitting left-handers is what the New York Yankees do, and quite well, I might add.

They have a .251/.328/.422 line when facing lefties compared to .229/.318/.382 against righties. They also have an above-average wRC+ value of 107 vs. southpaws compared to a below-average value of 95 against right-handers. In addition, their .170 ISO against lefties is higher than their .152  ISO against righties.

I think New York’s power numbers will get a boost with the short left-field porch of Minute Maid Park. Note that the Yankees have the highest hard-hit rate in baseball at 42.4%. They’re also ranked fifth with a 9.4% barrel rate.

The Yankees certainly have the capability to go on a long run, and their advanced numbers support that assertion.

If you’re barrelling up pitches and hitting the ball hard somewhere, you’ve pretty much done your job as a hitter.

Yankees-Astros Pick

You wouldn’t be wrong to think that this is a good spot to back the Astros off back-to-back shutout losses. In fact, teams in this spot are 173-147 for 40.31 units.

However, those lofty numbers don’t necessarily apply to the Astros as they’re 4-6 for a loss of 2.4 units. In fact, the last time the Astros were shut out in back-to-back games was in 2018, and their opponent was none other than the Yankees. And if you’re wondering how Houston fared in the third game, it lost that one as well.

I’m not going to say that the Astros have already checked out for the All-Star break, but they know they’re playing short-handed at the moment.

At 54-36, Houston has already been impressive through 90 games this season. They hold a 3.5 game lead in the division, and right now, I don’t see them overcoming the loss of Correa and Bregman in their lineup. For one, Correa’s 3.9 WAR is the fifth-highest amongst position players this season.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind: Our Bet Labs database shows that the Yankees are winning 58.1% (+23.53 units) of their games when facing a starting leftie, and they’re 6-2 in their last eight games in this spot.

When you factor in their success against lefties, Houston’s depleted lineup, and a .553 ISO against Valdez, I think the Yankees are a worthy underdog at +114 over DraftKings and will make it my top pick.

Pick: Yankees ML (+120)

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