ALCS Game 6 Betting Preview (FS1, 8:05 p.m. ET)
New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros
Friday, Oct. 20 from Minute Maid Park
After the Houston Astros walked off the Yankees in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead in the ALCS, I doubt that anyone in that Astros locker room would have thought they’d return to Houston down 3-2 in the series and playing for their lives. Yet, after some disastrous offensive games in New York, that’s precisely the position Houston finds themselves in tonight and now they’ll need to win two straight at home to book their ticket to the 2017 World Series.
The L.A. Dodgers are already there waiting for their opponent, so will Houston be able to force a decisive Game 7 or will the Yankees continue their winning ways and punch their ticket tonight?
If Houston does want to snap out of this funk and stay alive, they are going to have to put those three straight losses in New York behind them as quickly as possible. It was Game 4’s blown 4-0 lead that stung the most from the Astros perspective, but the fact that one of baseball’s highest scoring teams in the regular season has only scored a grand total of 9 runs through the first five games of this series has definitely become a big concern.
Obviously playoff teams are only facing the best of the best in terms of opposing pitching, but this power outage by an Astros team that averaged 5.56 runs per game this year could end being the reason they miss out on the 2017 World Series.
You’ve got to give the Yankees credit in that regard though as they’ve turned Houston’s overwhelming strength into their biggest concern. New York has had some great starts from all of their pitchers, and the vaunted Yankees bullpen that everyone has tirelessly praised all year has shown all the reasons why so many liked what they had back there.
But now it’s all about closing things down for New York, in hostile territory no less, and while they did take a big step in learning that process last round when they beat Cleveland, they are still a young team and the stakes are much higher this time.
For all of Houston’s struggles in this series, they still have to be feeling confident tonight with Justin Verlander on the hill. This is why they went out and got him at the 11th hour and they are hoping that move can pay off in spades tonight. Verlander himself has already claimed that “this is why I’m here” and his past postseason experience should bring a relatively calming influence to the Astros tonight. He already pitched a complete game in Game 2 of this series, but I’m sure he’d love to get a few more runs of support on the board this time.
To do that, the Astros are going to have to solve Luis Severino tonight and this will be the 4th time they’ve seen him in 2017. They only scored one run on him in Game 2, but in two regular season meetings against the Yankees hurler, Houston scored 9 runs against him over 7.2 innings of work total., The Astros were just 1-1 SU in those games, but did win 8-1 when Severino started at Houston.
What may be the most interesting notion about this game since it is a pitching rematch from Game 2 is the fact that the line this time around is in the -140 range for Houston when it was -115 to -120 for the Astros in Game 2. Right off the bat that would suggest a bit of inflation from the oddsmakers on the Houston side as the “must win” angle gets talked up, but I believe the jump in price is definitely warranted given how the two starters pitched that day. Ramp up the stakes this time around and Verlander clearly is the commodity bettors can trust more, and I don’t necessarily think there is inflation in that line at all.
Verlander is more then capable of mowing down these Yankees hitters once again, and Houston’s bats can wake up in an instant against a guy like Severino who they’ve had plenty of offensive success against in the past.
New York is still just 1-3 SU on the road in these playoffs and the Astros are unbeaten at home. It isn’t going to be as easy and simple as that tonight, but home field should reign supreme again this evening as the Houston Astros find a way to force a decisive Game 7 tomorrow.