Wednesday night in the Bronx, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros will conclude a three-game series in a rematch of last year’s ALCS. The Yankees won three of four against the Astros in Houston earlier this month, but the teams have split the first two games of this series. The New York Yankees are -185 on Wednesday over the Houston Astros.
Despite having the third-most wins in baseball, the Yankees have fallen two games back of the Red Sox in the AL East. They are 6-5 in their last 11 games, cooling off considerably after they were outrageously hot during the early part of May.
Houston, meanwhile, continues to hold the top spot in the AL West. However, the Mariners are just one game back and the two teams are actually tied in the loss column. Just like the Yankees, the Astros are focused on winning their division and avoiding the wild-card game but may find themselves in a tight race all season.
Ace in the Hole
Starting for the Yankees Wednesday will be Luis Severino, who has undoubtedly been the team’s ace early in the season. In 11 starts, Severino is 7-1 with a 2.28 ERA. He’s had a couple rough outings this season, but for the most part, he’s been brilliant. One such performance came against the Astros earlier this month when he threw a complete game shutout, the first of his career.
Of course, Severino wasn’t quite that dominant in his two starts against Houston during last year’s postseason, so the Astros won’t be intimidated to face him again. The Astros also have one of the most explosive lineups in baseball. Severino and the Yankees will catch a break without Josh Reddick and Brian McCann in the lineup. But Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Evan Gattis are all swinging hot bats right now.
Opposing the Yankees on Wednesday will be lefty Dallas Keuchel. The lefty hasn’t had his best season or the best of luck, going 3-6 with a 3.39 ERA thus far. However, he has plenty of history against the Yankees, tossing a gem against them last postseason, as well as in the 2015 Wild Card Game.
However, Keuchel did take the loss at Yankee Stadium in Game 5 of last year’s ALCS. He also lost to the Bronx Bombers earlier this season, giving up three runs over seven innings, including two home runs. Despite that loss, Keuchel still has great career numbers against most of the Yankees. However, he hasn’t faced many of New York’s younger hitters too many times. Also, the Yankees lineup is fully healthy at the moment, with guys like Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, and Gleyber Torres clicking on all cylinders.
Bring it Home
In such a tight matchup, it’s best to side with the home team. The Yankees have the better starting pitcher, and the absence of Reddick and McCann hurts the Astros in a place like Yankee Stadium that favors left-handed hitters. After throwing nine scoreless innings against the Astros earlier this month, Severino should have five or six more strong innings in him, even against Houston’s potent lineup. Take the New York Yankees -185 over the Houston Astros on Wednesdday.