Astros Coast in Game 1 of ALCS

Yankees vs. Astros, Game 1, 7:37 ET

I’ve already shared a future on this series so you know who I like to win game one. The Yankees are fresh off a victory in Game 5 at home and had to travel to Houston last night to be ready for this game. Will the party after the victory cost them today? Will the rest hurt Houston? Let’s take a look at how this game lines up and what is a good bet for today.

The Yankees are turning to Jameson Taillon for the opener. They were somewhat lucky that the rain allowed Nestor Cortes to start yesterday – that hurts them for this series, but it certainly was much safer for them getting to this game. Taillon had a decent enough season, but when you start looking at splits, today’s start doesn’t align with where he was at his best. He is allowing almost a full run higher on his ERA in road starts. His last outing against the Guardians left a lot to be desired. He didn’t record an out and allowed three hits and two earned runs that ultimately cost the Yankees the game. In fairness to him, it was a relief appearance and that can throw off a lot of starters. Still, you have to expect that he will allow a few runs in this game. He did face Houston once, he allowed 10 hits and six earned runs over 5.2 innings, and that game came at home where he is better. The Yankees won the game despite the poor start 7-6.

Justin Verlander had a phenomenal season, but his first postseason start was not pretty. He opened the series, as you’d expect, against the Mariners and he allowed six earned runs over four innings. The Astros ended up winning the game, but they were put in a bad spot by their ace. You’d have to imagine he is looking for revenge today. He has been great at home this season and threw to a 1.64 ERA during the regular season. The Yankees faced Verlander once and it didn’t go well for the Bronx Bombers. Verlander was able to go seven innings and allowed just one solo home run to account for basically all of the offense against him. This was in Yankee Stadium, but I have no concern with him pitching at home.

Verlander is a gamer, Taillon isn’t a great pitcher. The Astros have a clear edge. I’m taking the Astros to win this game by more than a run and going to play the run line. Astros -1.5 at +115 is my play for this game. You could also play over their team total of 3.5 at -135, but it is a little pricey to me.

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Written by David Troy

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