American League Championship Series Game
New York Yankees at Houston Astros
First pitch: 5:08 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: James Paxton (15-6, 3.82 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (21-6, 2.58 ERA)
Two big-time offenses. Two big-time pitchers. Something has to give when these American League powers collide in Game 2 of the ALCS.
And, unsurprisingly, I’m leaning the way of the pair of starters. One of the two leading candidates (with teammate Gerrit Cole) for this year’s AL Cy Young Award, Verlander has also been outstanding against the Yankees since being dealt to Houston two years ago.
This will be the right-hander’s seventh meeting (including postseason) with the Bronx Bombers as an Astro. In the first six, he went 4-0 with a pristine 1.65 ERA and 0.80 WHIP while racking up 55 strikeouts compared to just six walks across those 43.2 innings pitched.
Expect Verlander to at least bounce back from his surprisingly off outing opposite the Tampa Bay Rays. Also, remember, that unlike that last outing, he’ll be working on normal rest here.
Paxton, meanwhile, is starting on extra rest, which is significant given his track record when working following certain days of rest. In fact, when the former Seattle Mariner has made a start after six or more days off, he’s 12-8 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.10 WHIP — both marks lower than if he were coming off shorter rest.
The seventh-year southpaw has seen the Astros plenty of times, producing mostly solid work. Considering the lengthy strong run of pitching he had to cap off the campaign, look for him to return to that form. Play: UNDER 7.5 (EV)
Yesterday’s Result: Yankees-Astros Under 9 (WIN)
2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units
Playoffs: 8-3-1, +2.3 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)