ALCS Game 4
Houston Astros at New York Yankees
First pitch: 5:08 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Zack Greinke (18-5, 2.93 ERA) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (11-9, 4.45 ERA)
Surprisingly, the first three games of this American League Championship Series between two of baseball’s best offenses all cruised under the total. Will Game 4 see the same result?
Let’s keep it simple. The two probables set for tonight’s affair just squared off five days ago (in an under we won). Being guys that aren’t really overpowering and operate at career-low average velocities, this figures to provide at least a slight boost for two already-high-powered lineups.
Tanaka also registered a career-low strikeout rate of 7.37 K/9 this season. While it’s true he’s now converted on six consecutive quality starts against the Astros dating back to the 2017 ALCS, having to see them again so soon could prove harmful for the Japanese import.
Relying on off-speed more than his counterpart, Greinke will even bust out a sub-70 mph eephus curveball on occasion. However, the effectiveness (and surprise element) of that pitch and the rest of his repertoire could potentially be limited, which would spell trouble if the Yankees are putting the ball in play with regularity at their hitter-friendly stadium.
Greinke was game when he opposed the Bronx Bombers in Saturday evening’s Game 1 showdown. But by the end of his outing, the Yankees had figured him out. With that in mind, I wouldn’t expect the 16-year veteran to even match his six strikeouts from that start. As it is, the Yanks took him deep twice and churned out seven hits.
With a total of 8, attached, it could just be one off performance that propels this to an over. Given how we’ll get two cracks at finesse pitchers who have to deal with a tough batting order whom they saw less than a week ago, it looks like a solid bet. Play: OVER 8 (-120)
Last Result: Cardinals-Nationals Over 7.5 (WIN)
2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units
Playoffs: 10-4-1, +2.7 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)