The Yankees looked clueless trying to figure out Dallas Keuchel last night in Game 1 of the ALCS. As a result, the Yankees took a 2-1 loss to get the ALCS started. They didn’t get on the board until they had 2 outs in the top of the 9th inning. Too little too late at that point, as the Astros avoided a blown save and take a 1-0 series lead heading into Game 2 of the ALCS.
Kluber couldn’t figure the Yankees out, but Keuchel made it look easy, not allowing a single run in their victory. Look for him to be a weapon later down the stretch as well in this series. The newly acquired Justin Verlander will seek to prove why the Astros traded for him. It’s truly World Series or bust. When I say World Series, I mean win it all, not just make an appearance.
Saturday is all about college football in the fall, but with the postseason on, it’s a great time to take a pause and put the bases on for a few hours. Verlander can get the Astros a step closer to achieving their goals this afternoon. Conversely, Luis Severino hopes to use his flamethrower of an arm to get the series knotted up. Severino is new to the postseason scene, while Verlander is a wily veteran.
Verlander has been through more than a few battles in the postseason as a Tiger in Detroit. That’s one of the main reasons why it made the most sense for the Astros to target him. They knew they were going to the postseason already, why not add a proven commodity to the fold? Tanaka pitched well for the Yankees yesterday, but in a tight game like that, every pitch counts. Let’s get straight to our ALCS Game 2 pick below.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Houston Astros Pick
Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA)
Severino’s greatest asset is his fastball, which regularly tops out at 98mph. That fastball is going to make him a wealthy man after he’s due for a new contract. The Yankees are getting a lot of value with him and his $521,300 salary. Same goes for Aaron Judge who is making around a half million as well. Severino enters with a 3.14 ERA overall. His last two starts having been his best, though. He gave up 3 runs and 3 hits in just 0.1 innings against the Twins in the play-in game. The Indians hit him for 3 runs across 7 innings. In review, Severino has a 7.36 ERA in the postseason.
Severino has an awful history against the ‘Stros. I noted yesterday that the Astros love to hit fastball hitters and here is one of the biggest in baseball. The Astros have a team batting average of .354 against Severino in 48 at-bats. Josh Reddick a .429 BA, Yuli Gurriel .800, and Carlos Correa is hitting .750 against Severino. The Yankees have been a mixed bag against Verlaner, hitting him for a .254 with 5 long balls in 113 at-bats. Verlander has been looking good, but he pitched 2.2 innings in relief vs the Red Sox in his last showing, giving up a run in 2.2 innings. Could the relief appearance thrown his schedule just a bit out of whack? In any event, I can see the Yankees getting to him for 3 runs. The bats got the nerves and jitters out of the way last night. I think we’re going to get enough to push this Game 2 of the ALCS OVER the total.
PICK: OVER 7.5 (-110)