Pitching Game 1 for NY will be Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA), while Houston goes with Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90). Game one is Friday night at 8:08PM EST.
That result, with the Yankees winning 5-2 in Game 5 as plus-170 road underdogs, cashed my plus-145 series bet and salvaged what had started as a disastrous baseball playoffs for yours truly. With the pitching staffs factored in (and the troubling fact that Houston won the season series 5-2), that's why the Astros are favored, but I just think the odds are set too high. Games 1 and 2 will be played at Minute Maid Park.
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The Astros led the league in scoring this season, easily topping the second-ranked Yankees with 896 runs while also leading MLB with a.282 average. Keuchel had a 1.12 WHIP with 125 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings in the regular season.
Over on the Yankees' side, they went to Game 5 against the Indians having lost their first two games in Cleveland 4-0 and 9-8, then winning 1-0 and 7-3 in NY before returning to Cleveland for Game 5 and a tense victory 5-2.
In Keuchel's lone postseason appearance this year, he went 5.2 innings with three hits and one earned run for a victory in Game 2. Houston will also run out Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36), Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00) and Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62). NY has been propelled by the home run machine, rookie Aaron Judge. Brett Gardner was 8-for-25 in the series and had a key two-run single late in Game 5 to help clinch it. The Yankees weren't supposed to be in contention this soon while the Astros are in a window where they're expected to make a deep run and finally win the franchise's first title.
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Judge did not receive the quality of help around him like Yulieski Gurriel and George Springer, who each hit over.400, while Carlos Correa is still arguably the best shortstop despite not having his best series.
Tanaka will be coming off a terrific outing against the Indians, when he shut them down for seven innings in their Game 3 1-0 win, while Severino rebounded from his brief wild-card outing to pitch well in Game 4. With the Astros bullpen a plus unit and the defense being strong at almost every position, it's hard to find a flaw with Houston.
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