Yankees vs Astros ALCS Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Verlander steps it up a notch


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Although it took a few twists and turns to get here, we finally arrived at the same place we thought. Tonight the Houston Astros will host the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. The winner of the seven-game marathon will go to the World Series.

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The Yankees advanced after a five-game series with the Cleveland Guardians that ended yesterday in the Bronx. New York had to win two straight games to avoid elimination. The road for the Astros was much more manageable, sweeping the Seattle Mariners and winning the final game by a score of 1-0 in a Divisional Series record 18 innings.

Who wins in the first game? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for Yankees against Astros.

Best Yankees vs. Astros Odds

Yankees vs Astros picks and predictions

I want to focus on one story and one story only in this game.

Justin Verlander just had one of the worst playoff starts of his career, and I don’t think he’ll repeat that. That start came in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Mariners when he was lit for six earned runs on 10 hits in just four innings.

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I support it to expiate this scarcity and I will tap into several markets. We can find “Won Runs Allowed” under 1.5 to +125 on DraftKingsYankees Less than 1.5 in the first five innings at -140 on DraftKings, and “To Record a Win” at +200 on BetMGM. I’ll take all three. My favorite is where my projections see the most significant upside, i.e. the withdrawal market.

Verlander’s strikeout prop sits at a plus/minus 5.5 on FanDuel. He exceeded that number in four of his last five playoff starts before his Game 1 collapse in the ALDS. And even though he was knocked down on that outing, he was close to breaking that pace if he hadn’t been pulled. Verlander only saw the Yankees once this season and had only three strikeouts, however, much of that was the product of bad luck. This game saw a ton of 2-2 count situations where the Yankees uncharacteristically fought grounds and put them in play.

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It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but Cy Young’s likely winner posted a -24 run value on his fastball. He’s one of the best in baseball. Yankee hitters will stay red on Verlander to try and get a chance. This is where the problems arise with a slider that produced an odor rate of 34% and a curve that produced an odor rate of 27%.

The slider, in particular, is problematic for this Yankees lineup. It’s the Achilles’ heel of players like Judge Aaron, which has a 37% odor rating against it. As a collective, the Yankees roster could have five players with a higher smell rate than Verlander has produced with this pitch, with hitters like Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson struggle the most against it. I will also be looking at the Unders on their basic props accordingly.

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My figures have this accessory priced at -180 and we can find an almost 10% advantage on that number at FanDuel at the time of this writing.

my best bet: Justin Verlander Over 5.5 strikeouts (-125 to FanDuel)

Yankees vs. Astros ALCS Odds

Teams Odds of winning the series
Steelers New York Yankees +175
Browns Houston Astros -210

Yankees vs. Astros Funding Line Analysis

This one opened with the Astros as favorites at around -177, but it was still a catch for most bettors. The number has since gone from -180 to -190 on most books. You imagine that sounds simple enough for early bettors, right? Forget Houston’s overwhelming throwing incompatibility here, let’s look at the situation.

The Yankees are coming off a grueling five-game series against the Guardians. Most games – minus the final – were fought tooth and nail, being decided by the slimmest margins. Additionally, several rain delays have occurred, further complicating this series’ launch schedule and forcing New York’s rhythm to be broken.

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As a result, the Yankees come to Houston much less rested and with a stretched bullpen to the max. Meanwhile, the Astros (who have already won seven more games than the Yankees in the regular season) begin this series after four days off. After all that, how could you not support the Astros here? It’s hard to argue with all of this. It’s also hard to quantify how much rust from the Astros layoff will factor in here. It has to count for something, though.

I can’t face Houston with the current number, even though that’s the team I’m leaning toward. I would need around -155 to support the Astros, and that number is nowhere to be found. If the Yankees take an early lead, I might watch the live market from Houston, but if not, I’ll stay away.

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Covers MLB betting analysis

Yankees vs. Astros Over/Under Analysis

This total seems fair enough to me. Some differentials have been the most interesting observing the betting market. Some books would open at 7, then quickly drop to 6.5. Some opened at 6.5 and then moved up to 7. As with writing, most books have that total set at 6.5.

I’ll catch the Under. Jameson Taillon is obviously the outclassed launcher here, but delivering impressive performance isn’t necessarily out of the question. I’ve written regularly this season that while he may not be a dominant pitcher, he consistently keeps his teams in games. He can rely on his breaking balls in this game to go innings and his curveball has produced a .168 batting average.

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It should be something he is very successful with in this game. All of Astros’ metrics go down when they see the curveball. If Taillon can stay out of high leverage situations, he should be able to keep the Astros at bay with his breaking shots.

It’s basically on Taillon to keep this one under, and I think he’ll do enough. Verlander should be off to a great start. He matches the Yankees’ roster well, which is why he allowed just one earned run in seven innings the last time he saw them. Moreover, he should be very motivated to avenge his previous departure.

Yankees vs. Astros trend you need to know

Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams. find more MLB Betting Trends for Yankees vs. Astros

Yankees vs Astros game information

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Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2022
First step : 7:37 p.m. ET

Starting pitchers

Jameson Taillon (14-5, 3.91 ERA): This will be the first start of the playoff season for Taillon. His overall record for the season has been a bit lucky, but that’s a product of his consistency. He’s allowed more than five runs only once this season, and that comes while playing in a division full of power hitters. Taillon’s biggest problem is simply allowing too much contact. His xBA is one of the worst in the league, while his chase rate and BB rate are near elite.

Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA): Verlander’s fastball speed is one of the best in baseball and his K-rate is in the Top 10% of skilled pitchers. However, Verlander is coming off a rare start where he allowed six earned runs in four innings to the Seattle Mariners. It was such a rare debut that you have to go all the way back to his second year in the league to find a similar exit in the playoffs.

Yankees vs Astros latest injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Weather Yankees vs. Astros

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