Yankees vs Astros ALCS Game 2 Predictions, Picks
Logan Riely/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Yordan Alvarez jogs to first base.
- The Astros are favored over the Yankees in tonight's ALCS Game 2 in Houston.
- Houston will go with Framber Valdez, looking to take a 2-0 series lead against New York's Luis Severino.
- Continue reading for expert picks and predictions for tonight's lone postseason game.
Yankees vs. Astros Game 2 Odds
|Time||7:37 p.m. ET|
The Astros jumped out to a 1-0 series lead in Game 1 on Wednesday behind a sterling effort by Justin Verlander. The tired Yankees are ready for a break, but need to keep pace with a Game 2 victory before an off day and the series shifting to the Bronx.
Thursday's pitching matchup is a lot closer than we saw in Game 1. Houston will go with its No. 2 starter, Framber Valdez, while New York turns to Luis Severino.
There are a myriad of ways to bet this game and our experts are all over it, as you might expect. Here are our best bets for ALCS Game 2 between the Yankees and Astros.
MLB Odds & Picks
Yankees F5 Team Total Over 1.5
Mike Ianniello: Framber Valdez put up terrific numbers this season, earning his first All-Star nod. However, his expected ERA was a half run higher. 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 is 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 tuned up for a 7.78 ERA in 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: For one, they are patient at the plate, finishing 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. After leading the league with 254 home runs, 15 of the Yankees 18 runs in the ALDS came by way of the home run.
Their two runs in Game 1 were both from the long ball. Harrison Bader has been a surprising star, leading New York with four home runs and a 1.259 OPS this postseason.
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.
Giancarlo Stanton is 4-for-8 with a home run against Valdez in his career. Let’s hope an early walk and a Stantonian Blast by the big man puts this total over early.
Yankees F5 and Full Game Moneyline
Sean Zerillo: I am significantly higher on the Yankees’ Game 2 win probability than the betting market, setting their first-five innings (F5) probability at 48% (+108 implied odds) and their full game probability at 46.3% (+116), compared to listed odds as high as +135 (42.5%) and +145 (40.8%) respectively.
At those odds, the Yankees seem like the clear betting side.
I don’t project a material difference between Luis Severino (2.94 xERA, 3.38 xFIP) and Framber Valdez (3.31 xERA, 3.37 xFIP). If anything, Severino has better stuff, superior command and a higher ceiling.
Valdez is more consistent and unique. The southpaw posted the highest combined rate of groundballs and pop-ups (75.6%) among all pitchers besides Clay Holmes. He allows very few outfield flyballs and carries a tremendously low home run rate. As a result, he offers a notable suppression skill against MLB’s most homer-happy offense.
However, the Yankees hit lefties (119 wRC+, 3rd) better than righties (113 wRC+, 4th) this season, while the Astros remain in their lesser split against a righty. And the Yankees have a top-five offense against curveballs this season — Valdez’z main pitch aside from his sinker.
Severino returned from the IL in September and flashed stuff he hadn’t shown since 2018. And he carried his re-found velocity level into his playoff start against the Guardians (averaged 97.6 mph).
Severino’s best pitch is his slider, and the Astros rated much closer to average against sliders than they did against fastballs or changeups. Still, the increased velocity level will help all three pitches play up, and as long as Severino can maintain this velocity, his arsenal is ace caliber.
Given the handedness splits, the Yankees’ offense gets a slight nod for Game 2, on top of their anticipated defensive advantage, which is worth around three percent to my projection on its own.
The Yankees finished first (+129), and the Astros fourth (+67) in Defensive Runs Saved this season. Still, the Yankees had positive production at every position except for center field — and they added Harrison Bader to shore up that spot.
Houston returned negative value at all four infield spots, with positive value at each outfield spot — the opposite of what you want to support a worm burner like Valdez. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman both rated well below average on the defensive end.
So, the Yankees have the better starting pitcher, offense, and defense for Thursday, and I give Houston an edge for their bullpen and home field.
Even as a fan of Valdez, this line seemed disrespectful to both the Yankees and Severino. I would bet the Yankees’ F5 moneyline down to +117 and their full game line to +126.
Additionally, I projected the total closer to 6.3, and you can bet an Under 7 to -116 or an Under 6.5 to +102.
Jose Altuve To Homer (+950)
Odds via Caesars
DJ James: After taking Game 1, the Houston Astros look to compound another W against Luis Severino and the Yankees. Severino notched five innings of three-run ball facing the Cleveland Guardians in the ALDS. In that game, he did allow eight hits, so it was not necessarily his best outing. It was serviceable.
Either way, not many Houston Astros have seen more than 10 plate appearances against Severino. José Altuve is 7-for-27 off of him (including the postseason). This is not necessarily good, but he has seen Severino plenty and has his home crowd and field to an advantage.
Severino’s main issue is allowing hard contact. He ranks in the 25th percentile in average exit velocity and the 18th percentile in hard hit rate. Altuve ranks in the 6th and 60th percentiles, respectively, meaning these are his weaker peripheral metrics.
Even still, he rarely strikes out or whiffs, so the ball will be in play. He had 18 homers in 2022 off of right-handers with a .285/.373/.487 slash line, which is more than enough value to expect that he could float one into the Crawford Boxes in this game.
At the moment, Altuve is +950 to hit a homer. Take this to +800, since he has seen Severino so often.