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New York Yankees at Houston Astros Betting Preview

Game 2 of the ALCS is set to get underway Thursday night as the New York Yankees (0-1) battle it out with the Houston Astros (1-0). The Astros will host this one at Minute Maid Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:38 pm ET.

Houston was able to take the first game of the series at home Wednesday night 4-2. In the win, Justin Verlander went six innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out 11. Offensively, the Astros got home runs from Yuli Gurriel, Chas McCormick, and Jeremy Pena.

Jameson Taillon took a no-decision after giving up just one run in 4.1 innings of work. Unfortunately for Yankees’ fans, the bullpen couldn’t get the job done as Clarke Schmidt took the loss after giving up two runs in an inning of relief. Harrison Bader and Anthony Rizzo both homered, but it wasn’t enough for the Yankees to win the opener.

The Astros are the favorites Thursday night, playing at home. They are -154 to win, while the Yankees’ moneyline sits at +130. The runline features New York +1.5 (-184), and the over/under for total runs is seven.

Yankees Need To Cut Down On Strikeouts

Aside from the two solo home runs, it was a pretty rough day at the plate, especially when it came to making contact. In total, the Yankees struck out 17 times in Game 1, 15 more than the Astros. If they hope to be able to steal a game on the road, they will have to cut down on the strikeouts.

Taking the ball for Aaron Boone’s club in Game 2 is righty Luis Severino. In 19 games this season, he went 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, and he struck out 112 times in 102 innings of work.

Severino took a no-decision in his lone start of the postseason after giving up three runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings against the Guardians. Offensively, Harrison Bader continues to have a torrid postseason. In 19 at bats, he is hitting .263/.364/.895 with four home runs and five runs batted in.

The Yankees are hoping that All-Star Aaron Judge starts producing. This postseason, he is hitting just .167/.200/.417 with two home runs.

Astros Turn To Framber In Game 2

One of the strengths of the Astros this entire season has been their pitching staff. In fact, they ranked second this season in the majors this season in ERA at just 2.87 (2.79 at home). With such a deep staff, they will turn to another solid starter Thursday night in Framber Valdez.

In 31 starts this season, Valdez went 17-6 with a 2.82 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and he struck out 194 in 201.1 innings. He also set a MLB record this season with 25 consecutive quality starts in a single season.

In his lone start of the postseason, Valdez went 5.2 innings against the Mariners, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked three in the no-decision.

At the plate, the Astros are really hoping that Jose Altuve figures it out. After hitting .300 during the regular season, he is hitless this postseason in 19 at bats. The Astros hope that he can have success against Severino, who he is hitting .375 against with a home run in eight career postseason at bats.

One player who is shining bright in the postseason spotlight is rookie Jeremy Pena. After homering in Game 1, he is now hitting .350/.381/.800 with two home runs in 20 at bats this postseason.

Take Houston To Win First Two

Obviously, anything can happen in the playoffs, but there is a lot to like about Houston in this one. They are 6-0 in their last six games and 5-0 in their last five home games against the Yankees.

For New York, they are just 1-4 in their last five road games. Furthermore, they have the disadvantage of a brutal schedule, as they will be playing their seventh game in the last eight days in three different cities.

It wouldn’t be shocking for either team to pull out a win Thursday, but the safest bet is on Houston to win Game 2 straight up at home (-154).

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