The Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees in Game 1 of American League Championship Series, making the Yankees +360 to win this series.
The best of seven playoff series resumes with Game 2 on Thursday, Oct. 20 in Houston at Minute Maid Park. According to DraftKings, the Astros are favored at -155, and the Yankees are priced at +135. Which means Astros believers will have to put $155 on the line to win $100 on a bet for Houston to prevail in Game 2.
With their fourth consecutive win in the postseason, the Astros are still seen as the favorites to win the World Series. DraftKings has the Astros, who lost the Fall Classic last fall, at +105. You can get +115 on the Astros from BetMGM, which also lists the Yankees at +400. One win in Game 2, and the Yankees steal the home field advantage and this series could have a different feel.
The winner of the ALCS will face the NL Champion, either the Philadelphia Phillies or San Diego Padres. The World Series begins Oct. 28 in the park of the AL champion.
Yankees vs. Astros, Game 2 ALCS Odds
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.
Game 1 Recap: Verlander and Houston Power Too Much for Yankees
If you don’t get Justin Verlander early, you probably won’t get him. The Yankees hit a solo homer off the Houston ace in Game 1, and put multiple runners on base in two innings. But they only managed that lone run, and Verlander found his mojo. That led to 11 strikeouts and eight in a row for Verlander. He picked up his 15th postseason victory and now holds the MLB record for career strikeouts in the postseason with 219.
The Yankees struck out 17 times in Game 1. Let that sink in. The team made 27 outs. But only 10 were when they put the ball in play. For much of the evening, the Yankees were looking, guessing, and flailing. There was also some complaining, most notably by Anthony Rizzo and Josh Donaldson, who barked at the strike zone. But 17 K’s is 17 K’s. And the Yankee lineup should be embarrassed at its inability to simply hit a baseball.
Good news for the Astros is that Jose Altuve had better at-bats, while Jeremy Pena, Yuli Gurriel (our pick for series MVP), and Chas McCormick all looked good at the plate. The Astros lineup has no easy outs, as Martin Maldonado proved with a double that nearly went into the seats in deep right-center, and McCormick proved with two hits from the No. 8 slot in the lineup.
Want even one more reason the Astros should win this series? Closer Ryan Pressly is better than any bullpen arm the Yankees have, and he looks sharp.
Yankees vs. Astros Pitching Matchup, Game 2 ALCS
Luis Severino (0-1, Infinite ERA in postseason) vs. Framber Valdez (0-0, 13.50 ERA in postseason)
The Astros have Ace 1A on the mound in Game 2. Valdez allowed three runs in six innings in his only start against the Yanks in 2022. In that start he allowed a homer to Giancarlo Stanton. But Valdez has not allowed a home run since Sept. 24, and he has a 41-to-9 K-to-BB rate in his last six starts. There are few steadier, more dependable starters in baseball.
One thing of note: Valdez was a better pitcher away from Minute Maid Park. In his 14 home starts he had a 3.54 ERA, while on the road he posted a 2.27 ERA this season.
Severino exceeded expectations in his start against Cleveland in the ALDS, pitching into the sixth inning. He did not walk a batter, and his control is Severino’s calling card. He will need to be near the plate to be effective, because Houston batters are disciplined. Too many pitches in the meat of the zone however, and that meat will turn to mush for the Yankees.
We like Valdez to keep the ball down and get the groundballs when he needs them. His spin rate on his curve is among the best in baseball, and even if Valdez walks a few (which he is bound to do), he typically wriggles out of trouble. The Yankees can use all the help they can get to get men on base, but the swing-for-the-fences offensive game plan doesn’t work this time of year. Not when your homers are solo jobs.
– – – – – – – – –
Yankees, Astros ALCS Game 2 Pick
The Yankees are playing home run derby, and the Astros are playing baseball. That’s why Houston is going to win this series.
The Yankees lineup has to many batters who are in this league because they hit enough mistakes or guess right enough times to slug the ball over a fence.
The Astros have multi-dimensional, smart baseball players. They don’t have defensive miscues, they don’t make base running gaffes, and they don’t reach out and swing at pitches out of the strike zone as much as the Yankees. The Astros had the second-fewest strikeouts in baseball, and they had the lowest chase rate (meaning they swung at fewer bad pitches than any team).
The only way the Yankees win this series is if the Astros throw it away. That’s why Houston is favored and why they will almost certainly hold serve at home in Game 2. Bet the under and take the Astros. We expect the Astros pitching staff to flummox the overeager Yankee batters again. In Game 1, the Yankees struck out 17 times. That’s a lot of head-shaking, a lot of frustration, and a lot of domination by the Houston pitching staff.