All eyes are on Houston this weekend, as a potential preview of the ALCS is unfolding between the Yankees and Astros. The Yankees hold a healthy lead of 13 games in the AL West. Any kind of 13-game lead is impressive, but before the All-Star Game makes it all the more impressive for the Astros. While the ‘Stros look like they will run away with the division, the Yankees are up for a war to the bitter end in the AL East. The Yanks came out and took control of the division for the vast majority of the regular season, but due to a cold run, the Red Sox snatched it away.
As it is now, the Yankees are a game back of the Red Sox. They floundered a generous lead away and now are sitting behind their rivals. The division will more than likely be up for grabs down to the end of the season, though. The Yanks got a valiant effort against the Astros last night, dispatching them for a score of 13-4. Brett Gardner led the way with a bases clearing grand-slam to put the Yankees up big. Gardner ultimately finished with 5 RBIs on the evening.
There isn’t much an offense can do when the pitching allows 13 runs in a night. The Yankee offense for the most part has been solid, but we’ve certainly seen some regression from them after they went on that torrid pace to start the season. Aaron Judge has cooled off, along with the rest of the team. However, last night, the Yankees showed that they can still erupt on any night. The Astros have been mashing the ball all season long, but last night the pitching let them down considerably. Let’s get straight to our free MLB betting pick for Saturday.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Houston Astros Pick
Jordan Montgomery (6-4, 3.53 ERA) vs. Francis Martes (2-0, 5.51 ERA)
The Yankees will opt for Jordan Montgomery tonight. Montgomery has been a serviceable pitcher in his rookie year, as he hopes to carve out a memorable and profitable career in the Bronx. If he keeps pitching at a level like this, there won’t be any reason to pull him out of the rotation. Montgomery currently holds a 3.52 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Any rookie would be happy with those numbers, especially in a pressure position with a team like the Yankees.
The Astros are fully capable of drilling the ball against Montgomery, though. They have the talent to make a night rough for most pitchers. The ‘Stros are 3rd in runs scored per game with 5.54 a game. In their last three games they averaged 7 per game. Another rookie will be on the hump today, as Martes gets the fourth start of his career.
Francis hasn’t lasted longer than 5.2 innings, and in his last outing, he was pulled at the first sign of danger. Francis went 2 innings, allowing 2 runs and 2 hits. The main problem was his pitch count, as it went all the way up to 31.5 in those 2 innings, along with 4 walks. The Yankees are 1st in runs scored per game with 5.71. The offense has seemed to be heating up again, as they’ve ripped off an average of 9.33 runs in their last three games. There has been an average of 17 runs scored per game in their last three meetings! 17 runs in all three. The trend of offense should continue tonight. I recommended a pick on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 9.5 (-110)