New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros: Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction (10/20/22)
The Astros took Game 1 of the ALCS from the Yankees on Wednesday night, getting a bounce-back performance out of Justin Verlander and hitting three home runs. Losing to Verlander isn’t a crushing blow for New York, but a 2-0 deficit would put the Yankees in a very tough spot. Can they break through in Game 2?
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Thursday’s matchup at Minute Maid Park.
New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros Betting Odds
The Astros are home favorites at -154 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 7 runs.
Houston is favored at home again, and while the line is narrowed without Verlander on the hill, the presence of Framber Valdez keeps the Astros in strong position. Both of these offenses can hit home runs, but the Astros showed why they’re favored in Game 1 when they rarely struck out. As long as the Astros are at home, their position as the favorite is pretty secure.
New York Yankees Picks & Prediction
My pick: Astros Moneyline (-154)
I’m mildly surprised the line doesn’t lean even further in the Astros’ favor (yet). Framber Valdez is one of the game’s best ground ball pitchers and should be able to quiet a Yankees lineup that relies on home runs. As solid as Luis Severino has been since he returned from the IL in September, the Astros’ ability to make something happen by hitting for contact gives them an advantage in what could be another low-scoring game.
New York Yankees Starting Lineup
2B DJ LeMahieu R
RF A. Judge R
1B A. Rizzo L
3B J. Donaldson R
DH G. Stanton R
LF O. Cabrera S
CF H. Bader R
SS I. Kiner-Falefa R
C J. Trevino R
New York Yankees vs. Framber Valdez
Framber Valdez could be a Cy Young finalist after the best season of his young career. Valdez posted a 2.82 ERA across 31 starts (201.1 IP), leading the AL in innings and preventing home runs better than virtually any other starter. Valdez allowed only 11 homers in his more than 200 innings, solidifying his reputation as a ground ball pitcher.
Walks have popped up as an issue at times for Valdez, and the Yankees walk more than any other team – that seems like the best way New York can take advantage of the lefty.
The Yankees’ lineup relies heavily on home runs, and we saw the downside to that in Game 1. New York struck out 17 times, while the Astros struck out only twice. It was the largest gap in postseason history.
Valdez isn’t as much of a strikeout artist as Verlander, but elevating the ball could be a struggle. Valdez only allowed two hits when he faced the Yankees in June, though he walked three batters and gave up a home run to Giancarlo Stanton. If the Yankees want to stay in this game, that’s likely how it’ll have to be done.
Houston Astros Starting Lineup
2B J. Altuve R
SS J. Pena R
LF Y. Alvarez L
3B A. Bregman R
RF K. Tucker L
1B Y. Gurriel R
DH T. Mancini R
CF C. McCormick R
C M. Maldonado R
Houston Astros vs. Luis Severino
Luis Severino has been a mixed bag in the postseason throughout his career, a trend that continued into the ALDS. A good sign: When Severino hit some bumps early in Game 3 against the Guardians, he didn’t lose his poise and ultimately settled down to give the Yankees nearly six solid innings. Still, he’ll need to cut down on the early-game mistakes for New York to have a chance on Thursday.
Overall, Severino had a 3.18 ERA across 19 starts this season and tossed seven hitless innings in his final start of the regular season. He posted a 3.70 FIP and 1.00 WHIP, limiting hits before and after a long IL stint with 6.4 per nine.
Severino’s style could help subdue the Astros’ offense after Houston struck out only twice in Game 1. He struck out nearly 10 batters per nine this season, and his ability to limit hits will be needed against a high-contact offense. Home runs have been an issue at times – he allowed three more homers than Valdez despite tossing 100 fewer innings.
The Astros desperately need Jose Altuve to get going. Altuve remains hitless in the postseason, but with Jeremy Pena and Yordan Alvarez producing behind him, the former MVP’s presence on base would give Houston some more RBI opportunities. The fact the Astros are 4-0 with Altuve being a total non-factor is promising.