Free Picks: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Astros-vs-Yankees Week 6
Houston Astros vs New York Yankees, MLB, Yankee Stadium

The Houston Astros (15-13) face the New York Yankees (14-14) for the first of three games on Tuesday, with both teams coming out of an off-day. The Yankees earned a much-needed sweep in their most recent series over the basement-dwelling Detroit Tigers, while the Astros have taken six of their past eight against the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners. In other words, both teams enter this series looking better than their mediocre records indicate, and they have much to prove as they jockey position in the standings.

Astros, Yankees set for series resemblant of past playoffs

In two of the past four years, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees have met in the postseason with a World Series berth on the line. The Astros won in both of those instances, and there’s a chance these teams will meet again this October with similar stakes in place. 

The tides have turned a bit, though, as the Yankees now find themselves as the American League favorites to win it all (the Astros, for what it’s worth, are third). Of course, that’s in the big picture and is quite far away from now. But on Tuesday, these teams will meet for the first time all season as they try to show which powerhouse is more powerful.

For Tuesday, with Houston’s Zack Greinke starting opposite New York’s Domingo German, the Yankees are -120 money line favorites (10Bet) among the day’s MLB picks. Alternately, the Astros are +100 underdogs (10Bet). From a name recognition standpoint, Greinke is the far superior pitcher, but German has showed recently how effective he can be.

German struggled to a 9.00 ERA through his first two starts — both losses — and was optioned to the Yankees’ alternate site on April 11. There, he spent time refocusing on his form while pitching in an exhibition minor league game. Humbling stuff for a former 18-game winner, eh?

Since his reinstatement, German is 2-0 with just two earned runs allowed in 13 innings. He has only faced the Astros once, taking a loss with four runs allowed over 5 2/3 innings, but that was back in 2018. His recent successes are more worthy of our attention.

On the other side, Greinke has been a tad erratic through six starts. We’ve seen some excellence (four starts of two or fewer runs allowed) and we’ve seen some clunkers (two starts in which he combined for 10 runs over 8 2/3 innings). The crafty 37-year-old is perhaps more difficult to predict than in his younger days, but the flashes of greatness still exist.

We know how well the Yankees have pitched lately, as evidenced by their allowance of just nine runs over their past six games. But the Astros have a deep lineup, boasting six players with OPS numbers above league average. That’s led by first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who has a .941 OPS through 27 games. Truly a dangerous hitter right now.

Simply put, this is a matchup of two good teams who are playing closer to their potential right now than they have at any other point during the season. It could really go either way, and so from a value standpoint we like what the Astros provide as underdogs. Let’s roll with Houston as the BetPicks prediction, banking on a vintage Greinke performance to carry the Astros through.

Stats

  • New York is 7-3 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in seven of the Yankees’ past 10 games
  • Houston is 7-3 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in five of the Astros’ past eight games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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