7:05 p.m. ET – Astros at Yankees (-120 ML) O/U: 8.5
The 15-13 Astros travel to the Bronx to take on the 14-14 Yankees in a three-game series between two of the favorites to win the American League this season. This is the first time that fans will be in the ballpark in New York with Houston in town since the Astros’ infamous cheating scandal broke in 2019. Houston is coming off winning two out of three in Tampa Bay, but let a three-run lead slip away on Sunday before falling 5-4 in the series finale.
About the Astros
The Astros have won seven of their last 10 games after a disappointing start to the season that included Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez missing over a week’s worth of games due to COVID-19 protocols. Houston obviously has recovered now and is back on track, doing most of its damage at the plate.
The Astros rank fifth in baseball in runs scored, averaging 4.9 per game. Left fielder Michael Brantley stepped up in the absence of the three aforementioned elite Astros’ batters early on and has continued his hot hitting, as he’s batting .330 on the year to lead the team. First baseman Yuli Gurriel is right behind him with a .327 batting average to go along with four home runs and 18 RBI. Former MVP Altuve has struggled since returning from the COVID-19 list, batting .172 with no home runs in his last seven games.
Houston is expected to be in a season-long battle with the Athletics for the American League West division title and will need Altuve to heat up if they want to knock off the defending division champs. The Astros lost Gerrit Cole two offseasons ago to the Yankees and have their ace Justin Verlander on the 60-Day injured iist with a right elbow issue, but have treaded water in the early going with a team ERA of 3.72 that ranks 10th in the major leagues.
About the Yankees
New York has won seven of its last 10 games as well, and is hoping to carry its hot bats into this series after a breakout weekend against Detroit. The Yankees lineup has been underwhelming to start the year, ranking 23rd in Major League Baseball with just 3.9 runs scored per game.
Right fielder Aaron Judge has carried his share of the load, batting .281 with seven home runs and 18 RBI, all of which lead the team. But others have struggled. Catcher Gary Sanchez, for example, is batting .180 with two home runs and only four RBI in 61 at-bats. His struggles have forced manager Aaron Boone to begin playing Kyle Higashioka as the primary catcher over the past two series.
Good news for New York fans is that former MVP Giancarlo Stanton is beginning to heat up over his past seven games, batting .452 with 14 hits over that stretch. The Yankees owe being .500 despite a lack of offensive production to their pitching staff, which allows the second-fewest runs in the big leagues at only 3.4 per game. New York has the highest expectations of any team in the American League and if they want to fulfill those, they are going to need to start hitting the baseball more consistently.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Houston Astros||+1½ (-190)||+100||O 8½ (-115)|
|New York Yankees||-1½ (+160)||-120||U 8½ (-105)|
The Pitching Matchup
Houston is handing the ball to Zack Grienke on Tuesday night. Grienke has filled in as the top dog in the Astros starting rotation nicely this season with a 2-1 record and a 3.44 ERA in six starts. Grienke is coming off his shortest outing of the year, going only four innings and allowing four runs against the Mariners.
Right-hander Domingo German is getting the ball for the Yankees in the series opener. German is 2-2 in four starts this season with a 4.05 ERA spread across 20 innings of work. German is coming off his best outing of the season, going seven shutout innings in Baltimore last Wednesday.
German should build on his last start and be competent enough to give his team a chance to win the game at the plate. New York has the motivational edge, lineup edge and bullpen advantage in this confrontation, which is too much value to pass up at -120.
*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook