Well, then, who saw that coming in New York? The Yankees cashed in on their homefield, taking a 3-2 series lead with them back to Houston. They won three straight against the Indians after getting down 2-0, and now they’ve done it again. The only difference this time is that this is a best-of-7 series, so the Yankees must find another win or it’s all for naught. I said after the Astros took a 2-0 lead that the Yankees wouldn’t be able to stage another comeback like they did against the Indians. Here we are, though, and the Yanks are one game away from proving me wrong. The last win can often be the most difficult, and they have to do it on the road.
The Yankees have a mulligan in their back pocket, though. Barring a loss tonight, they’ll have another crack at it in Game 7 of the ALCS. The Dodgers have already punched their ticket, beating the Cubs in five games to complete their drive to the World Series. The Dodgers are hot, and are going to pose a serious challenge to whoever comes out alive in the ALCS. For the Astros, the offense has to get going. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but it’s simple as that.
In Game 5, their offense was once again lifeless. They were shutout in a 5-0 final, bringing their total of runs scored in this series to only 11 through five games. That’s an average of just 2.2 runs per game. It’s quite surprising, especially considering that the Astros have had a field day on Yankee pitching in the past. Tanaka, who they’ve traditionally beet hot against, shut them down completely. Luis Severino will try and wrap this series up, and book their ticket for a date with the Dodgers in the World Series. Justin Verlander will counter for the Astros. Head below for our free ALCS Game 6 pick.
Houston Astros vs. N.Y. Yankees Pick
Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA)
Aaron Judge sparked the Yankees’ offense in Game 4. The Astros must find someone to spark them tonight or the light is going to go out in Houston. Severino has not been at his best, so maybe they can find their chance here in Game 6. He enters with an ERA of 5.56 in his last three outings, all of which came in the postseason. Severino did look fine against the ‘Stros in Houston, though, allowing just 1 run and 2 hits across 4 innings. The Twins and Indians got to him, but the Astro offense looked useless once again. Houston managed to score just 4 runs in Houston for Game 1 and 2. The only reason they’re still playing is due to their pitching.
Justin Verlander was fantastic in his last start against the Yankees. The Yanks were fooled, as they scored just 1 run across 9 innings as Verlander went the distance. JV hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs since August 15th! He was still a member of the Tigers then. Also, in six of eight starts with the Astros, Verlander has yielded no or 1 run. He owns a 1.06 ERA as an Astro. The offense may be vomit inducing right now, but I can see Verlander shouldering the load and getting the ALCS to a Game 7.
PICK: ASTROS (-133)