New York Yankees at Houston Astros Odds, Analysis, Free Pick

October 19, 7:30 PM EDT

Betting Odds

NYY +165/Hous -185

While the National League Championship Series comes down to a couple of longshots the ALCS comes down to a couple heavies, as the Astros battle the Yankees in this best-of-seven affair, beginning Wednesday night in Houston.

Justin Verlander, who’s probably going to win another Cy Young Award in about a month, gets the call for the Astros here against Jameson Taillon for New York.

Here’s our home-work on the opener of this series, with our free ALCS Game 1 pick.

ALCS Playoff Betting Odds

The playoff baseball betting lines opened Houston at around -190 for this Game 1, with an over/under of seven runs. Early betting action then dipped that line to -185.

The Astros are also chalked at -170 to win this ALCS, with New York getting +140 as the underdog.

Yankees-Astros Game 1 Betting Preview

New York reached this American League Championship Series by out-lasting Cleveland in five games in a divisional-round series, finally closing that out with a 5-1 victory Tuesday afternoon in the Bronx.

So the Yankees are back in the ALCS for the third time in the last six seasons.

Houston, meanwhile, reached this ALCS by sweeping Seattle in three games in the other ALDS, closing that one out with a 1-0 victory last Saturday. The Astros rallied from a late 7-3 deficit to win the opener of that series, then took the next two games by holding the Mariners to two runs total.

So Houston is back in the ALCS for the sixth straight season.

Stretching back into the last week of the regular season the Astros are 7-1 over their last eight games.

Houston finished seven games ahead of New York in the regular-season standings and took the season series from the Yankees five games to two.

Game 1 Pitching Match-Up

Verlander hit 19/28 on quality starts this season and finished well, holding opponents to just three earned runs over his last six outings, covering 32 innings. But in first start of this postseason last Tuesday against Seattle he got touched for six runs and 10 hits through just four innings. Luckily for him Houston rallied to win that game 8-7.

The Astros played 20-8 with Verlander this season and could have been a couple-three games better than that, with a little better run support here and there.

In his only start this season against the Yankees, back in June at Yankee Stadium, Verlander allowed one run and four hits through seven innings of a 3-1 Houston victory.

Taillon hit 12/32 on quality starts this season and finished two for his last three. But in his only appearance so far this postseason, back in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Guardians, he came in to pitch the 10th inning and gave up three straight hits, didn’t get an out and took the loss.

The Yankees played 24-8 with Taillon this season, although that’s several games better than they probably should have been, based on his performances.

In his only start against the Astros this season, back in June, Taillon got clipped for six runs and 10 hits through 5 2/3 innings, although New York rallied with four runs in the bottom of the ninth to win that game 7-6.

Splits With the Sticks

New York batted .241 against right-handed pitching this season, with a .323 team OBP and a .422 team slugging percentage.

Houston slashed .242/.315/.411 against right-handed pitching.

The Bullpens

The Astros bullpen posted a ML-best 2.80 ERA this season, along with a 1.14 WHIP and a 3.06 K/BB ratio.

The Yankees bullpen recorded a 2.97 ERA this season, which ranked 3rd-best in Baseball, a 1.19 WHIP and a 2.46 K/BB ratio.

MLB Betting Trends

New York played 42-39 on the road this season and 73-48 against right-handed starters.

Houston played 55-26 at home and 64-44 against right-handed starters.

Totals Report

  • The Unders played 81-77 in Yankees games this season.
  • The Unders played a lopsided 93-61 in Astros games.
  • The Unders played 47-30 at Minute Maid Park this season.

Yankees at Astros Game 1 ALCS Predictions

In expectation of a bounce-back performance we give Verlander the check-mark in the pitching match-up. From there we give Houston a short edge in the bullpen comparison while the splits with the sticks look about even. But when we add all that up, and throw in a couple other things, it becomes apparent the line on this game is way too high. Betting baseball is often about betting the value on the dime lines and we’re grabbing the value with Yankees getting that fat underdog price Wednesday night.
Free Pick: 
Take the NY Yankees