The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will meet in the 2022 American League Championship Series, with the winner advancing to the World Series.
The best of seven MLB Playoff series begins Wednesday, Oct. 19 in Houston at Minute Maid Park.
According to FanDuel, Houston is -170 to win the ALCS, and you can get +135 on the Yankees to take the series.
The Astros are favored to win Game 1 with odds listed at -200 from BetMGM. The Yankees, who were tested in five games by Cleveland in the ALDS, are priced at +165 ahead of Game 1. Houston is sending veteran ace Justin Verlander to the mound. The two-time Cy Young Award winner won 18 games and led the league with a 1.75 ERA in the regular season, but in his only postseason start he allowed six runs and 10 hits.
Sportsbooks have the Astros and Yankees as the favorites to win the World Series, meaning whichever AL team emerges to capture the pennant, they will likely be facing an underdog NL team. The Astros are +160 and the Yanks are +260 from FanDuel to win the Fall Classic. The Yankees last won the World Series in 2009, and Houston won it most recently in 2017.
The winner of this series will face either the Philadelphia Phillies or San Diego Padres in the World Series, which begins Oct. 28 in the park of the AL champion.
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Yankees vs. Astros, Game 1 ALCS Odds
Here are current ALCS Game 1 lines from sports betting apps around the country.
ALCS Preview: Yankees vs. Astros
The schedule for the 2022 American League Championship Series. Italics = if necessary.
- Game 1: Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Houston
- Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 20 at Houston
- Game 3: Saturday, Oct. 22 at New York
- Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 23 at New York
- Game 5: Saturday, Oct. 24 at New York
- Game 2: Monday, Oct. 25 at Houston
- Game 2: Tuesday, Oct. 26 at Houston
The ALCS will be televised by TBS, and you can hear it on ESPN Radio.
Why the Yankees Will Win
The Yankees finally brushed off the Guardians in the ALDS, a series that wasn’t as competitive as it seemed. New York’s collapse in Game 3 in the ninth seemed to have woke the team up. The starting pitching did a great job in the final two games, and the home run ball served the Yanks well.
The key to the Yankees beating the Astros will be those two factors: (1) starting pitching, and (2) home runs with runners on base. As we’ve seen when NY has gone into a funk (as the team did in late August), when the offense starts to miss pitches and the home runs start to evaporate or simply be solo variety, the Yankees are vulnerable. When New York gets on the board first and can hand the starting pitcher a lead, it takes pressure off the defense and offense, because hitters up and down Aaron Boone’s lineup don’t feel pressure to jack the ball out of the park.
Recent history does not favor the Yankees in this matchup. In June, in four games at Yankee Stadium, the teams split, but one of the losses by the Yankees was when they were no-hit by three Houston pitchers. In July the Astros swept New York in Houston.
But if the Yankee lineup, specifically Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, and Gleyber Torres, can hit for power, the Yankees have a chance to upset the Astros.
Why the Astros Will Win
Houston is a team without a weakness. They won 106 games because they are relentless in every phase of the game: the lineup is deep and tough on both lefties and righties; the defense is among the best in baseball; the Astros run the bases better than almost any team; the starting pitching is durable and had the best ERA in the AL; and the bullpen had the lowest ERA in baseball.
It’s hard to see how the Yankees can beat the Astros four times in seven games. Houston outclassed New York in the regular season meetings, and the Astros are a far superior offensive team. While the Bombers can well…hit bombs…the Astros had a higher batting average and almost the same slugging percentage. That’s because Houston hits more singles, doubles, and triples. Manager Dusty Baker often has the reigning batting champion hitting seventh, that’s how good the lineup is.
If the Astros play as good as they can play, they might beat the Yankees in five. If the Yankees get better offense than we saw in September and in the ALDS (.182 with 28 hits in five games), they can slug their way to a few wins. But the Astros are actually a much, much better baseball team than New York.
Houston owns the Yankees in the postseason: in 2016 they beat NY in the wild card; in 2017 they eliminated the Yanks in the ALCS; and two years later they did the same thing. The Astros are 9-5 against the Yankees in the playoffs.
Yankees vs. Astros Pitching Matchup, Game 1 ALCS
Jameson Taillon (0-1, Infinite ERA in postseason) vs. Justin Verlander (0-0, 13.50 ERA in postseason)
Someday when Justin Verlander is giving his Hall of Fame speech on the grass outside the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, no one will remember his Game 1 ALDS start from 2022. But I guarantee the ultra-competitive JV is thinking about it as he enters the ALCS to face the Yankees.
Verlander has had a few stinker starts in his postseason career, but never has it happened in consecutive starts. We expect him to be “Must-See JV” in Game 1 in front of the friendly Houston crowd. The righty needs six K’s to set an MLB record for most strikeouts in the postseason (currently held by Clayton Kershaw with 213).
Taillon has not made a start since Oct. 4, with one abbreviated (miserable) relief appearance in the ALDS. He’s never been on a stage this big. He’ll be facing a lineup that crushed him in June to the tune of six runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3. In that game, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez each had three-run homers.
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, left, and Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, and AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Yankees, Astros ALCS Game 1 Pick
We expect the Astros to be well-rested and ready for Game 1. This isn’t the initial time they’ve attended the rodeo: Houston is making its AL-record sixth consecutive appearance in the ALCS. The offense will support Verlander, who is bound to be sharper than his start last week in the ALDS.
Give the 1.5 runs and bet the spread on the Astros. You can find that wager priced at +115 from FanDuel.