Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees, 6/23/19 2:05 PM ET Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
TV: Astros (ATT SportsNet-SW), Yankees (WPIX, MLBN)
Radio: Astros (KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 850 AM), Yankees (WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280)
The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will enter Sunday afternoon going in completely different directions. Houston has now lost eight straight games and are 2-8 in their past 10 while the Yankees are 8-2 and looking for a sweep of their AL West counterparts. The Astros were effective on the hitting side but failed to control New York’s lineup. The Bronx Bombers faltered a bit after starter Masahiro Tanaka left the game but their 7 runs made up for any mistakes.
Houston hopes to finally end their losing skid and will start ace, Justin Verlander (9-3) for the fourth game of the series. If anyone has a chance to help the Astros win their first game in over a week, it’ll be the current CY Young candidate. The offense finally woke up on Saturday when six of the nine starters recorded a hit, including their first four in the lineup. Yordan Alvarez continues to improve, launching a three run homer in the 7th while Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley, and Max Stassi each had a multi-hit game.
Nevertheless, the Yankees were still able to outplay the Astros. They scored seven times including 2 hits and 4 RBI by Giancarlo Stanton. Aaron Judge has yet to record his first hit since returning from the injured list though he did score twice and walk once in this contest. Reliever, Jonathan Holder gave up three runs after coming in for relief of Tanaka in the 7th and ultimately cost him the win. Instead, Holder was credited for a blown save and improved his own record to 5-2 this year. We’ll see J.A. Happ (7-3) match up against JV tomorrow afternoon.
1. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
2. Michael Brantley (L) LF
3. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
4. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
5. Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
6. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
7. Josh Reddick (L) RF
8. Jack Mayfield (R) SS
9. Jake Marisnick (R) CF
The offense finally looked right on Saturday and ended up putting 5 runs on the board for the visiting team. That wasn’t enough as their pitching staff surrendered 7 runs in yet another loss. Wade Miley looked impressive by racking up 7 strikeouts and only giving up 2 hits. However, walking 4 turned out to hurt him as he gave up 4 runs before departing after 5 innings. Almost always reliable reliever, Ryan Pressley gave up 3 more runs, 1 of which was unearned, in the 7th that proved to be the deciding factor.
Like most of the pitchers they faced in this series, the top half of the lineup has had great success against the Yankees’ starting pitcher. They’re led by Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman who hold .600 and .571 batting averages, respectively. In fact, their catcher and entire infield with the exception of second base have left the yard against Happ. Look forward to another strong performance by Yordan Alvarez as he makes a late case entry for Rookie of the Year honors.
Taking the mound for the Astros will be Justin Verlander. Longtime baseball fans will remember his time in a Detroit Tigers uniform but it wasn’t until he came to Houston where he’s become his usual dominant form. For the past three starts, he’s been sitting at 9 wins as he looks for finally secure his 10th victory today. In his past two starts, his ERA sits at 4.50, up from his season ERA of 2.59. No matter what happens this afternoon, it’s almost a lock that Verlander will go at least 7 innings and provide over a strikeout per inning. In his past ten starts, he’s gone 7 or more innings seven times and averaged just over 11 K/9.
1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
3. Luke Voit (R) 1B
4. Gary Sanchez (R) C
5. Giancarlo Stanton (R) LF
6. Edwin Encarnancion (R) DH
7. Didi Gregorious (L) SS
8. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
9. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
We’ll have to wait until today to see if the Yankees finally unveil their true lineup. On Saturday, both regulars, Gary sanchez and Gleyber had off days as we instead saw Austin Romine and Gio Urshela step in. Offensively, there were actually outhit by Houston 11 to 7 though they were still victorious. After the Astros took a brief lead in the top of the 7th, they answered right back with a Romine home run and two-out single by Giancarlo Stanton. The bullpen was shaky when Jonathan Holder but Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton rode the ship, securing a hold and save, respectively.
Justin Verlander is an elite pitcher and potential Hall of Famer. Looking at the Yankee’s history against him and you’ll surely be able to make a strong case. Didi Gregorious has had the most success with 5 hits in 12 chances. New York’s most feared bats in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have a combined 3 hits against him in 13 at-bats. Someone will have to get hot and reverse his luck against JV or find a way to knock him out of the game early. Otherwise, the Yankees’ winning streak might hit a brick wall as they play for 9 straight.
J.A. Happ has been very good as of late. In his past eight starts, he’s been a perfect 6-0 with a 4.29 ERA. It’s worth noting that during these starts, the only arguably good teams he faced were rivals Boston and Tampa Bay. During this stretch, he struggled against the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and the Baltimore Orioles twice. Happ doesn’t possess much of a weakness when analyzing his splits from this season. His ERA against lefties and righties only differs by 0.016. To help New York secure a win on Sunday, Happ will likely have to prevent Houston from scoring much if at all as Verlander will surely be putting on an ace-like performance.
Astros vs Yankees Betting Odds
The line is currently set at Astros -138, Yankees +138.
Yankees fans are likely starting to bring out the brooms in search of a sweep against the visiting Astros on Sunday. Not so fast as Justin Verlander is headed to the mound in search of his 10th win and 49th for Houston. J.A. Happ hasn’t lost in his past eight starts though the 4.29 ERA leaves a lot to be improved on. I see the Astros finally securing a victory as Verlander further cements his case for AL CY Young honors. The over/under is set at 10.2 runs.
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