Series Future: Astros Correctly Favored to Advance

The Astros had a nice little break once again after taking down the Mariners rather quickly. It wasn't a cakewalk, but Houston also didn't struggle much against Seattle. The Yankees, however, had to fight to a Game 5 against the Guardians before they were given a gift of Aaron Civale starting Game 5 for Cleveland. Let's take a look at the full series and see what play makes the most sense in this one.

The Yankees do not have a home field advantage in this series. Although this is just the second series they will play in the playoffs, I do think it makes a bit of a difference in the way this series could go. Having Game 5 at home was some level of comfort for the Yankees, and because of the rain delay, they ended up not getting a day of rest before starting the ALCS hurts - especially because now they must travel. So, how do the Yankees win this series? Well, Gerrit Cole needs to be an ace, Nestor Cortes has to take down his game or two if he gets a second start. Most importantly, though, they need either Taillon or Severino to steal a game for them. We know the Yankees lineup is potent and dangerous, but they don't have quite the edge on hitting that they did over the Guardians.

The Astros didn't look exactly sharp in the first game against the Mariners, but they were saved at the end of the game with a walk-off home run from Yordan Alvarez. Then they had a decently easy Game 2 victory before basically playing two full games for Game 3. In that game, it went 18 innings and they won 1-0. Now once again they come off of extended rest and enter the series. Can they make a run to the championship once again? Of course, their offense matches fairly well with the Yankees, and you can argue that their pitching staff is deeper with one likely Cy Young winner (Verlander) and a guy that set the record for most consecutive quality starts in one season (Framber Valdez). In order for the Astros to win, they likely need to take these first two games where they have the pitching and home field advantage edge.

I personally think this happens for the Astros. Over the season, they played seven games against the Yankees and won five of them. Would it be that shocking to see the Yankees win? Of course not, they are a good team. I also don't expect this series to go seven games. I got rather lucky that we cashed this future but I'm going to double down here and take the Astros to win game one and the series at -105. The Astros -1.5 games is at +100 which isn't a bad alternative to this.

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