The Yankees are huge underdogs to win the AL pennant after losing Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday to the Houston Astros, 3-2.
The Astros are now priced at -800 to win the series and pennant, according to Caesars sportsbook.
The best of seven playoff series resumes with Game 3 on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Yankee Stadium. With their ace Gerrit Cole scheduled to start, the Yankees are favored -146, via FanDuel. You can get +130 on the Astros from Caesars in early odds for Game 3.
Caesars lists the Astros at -140 to win the World Series, with New York at +1100. That means a winning $100 bet on the Yanks to win the Fall Classic would pay $1,100. This is the first time the Astros have been priced at better than even to win the World Series.
The Astros have eliminated the Yankees from the postseason three times since 2015, including twice previously in the ALCS.
The winner of the ALCS will face the National League champion, either the Philadelphia Phillies or San Diego Padres. Those teams are tied at one win each in their series, which resumes Friday. The World Series begins Oct. 28 in the park of the AL champion.
Yankees vs. Astros, Game 3 ALCS Odds
Odds for Game 3 of the AL Championship Series will be available here soon.
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 2 Recap: Bregman and Bullpen Snuff Out Yankees
Game 2 ended up being decided by one swing and a world class bullpen. The 2022 Houston Astros might have the best bullpen we’ve ever seen in baseball history. The pen posted a 2.80 ERA, the lowest in the major leagues, while throwing almost 500 innings. That’s more than three innings pr game, on average, and yet the Houston pen only allowed 33 homers, or 0.65 per nine innings, by far the lowest in baseball. Add to that the 10.5 K’s per nine innings, and it’s easy to see how the Astros won a league-best 106 games.
In Game 2, only two Houston relievers were necessary: Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly. The two pitchers combined to keep the Yanks hitless, and struck out four in two innings. That performance secured a 3-2 win and a stranglehold on this series.
The Houston runs came on one swing: a three-run upper deck homer by Alex Bregman in the third inning. Only uncharacteristic sloppy fielding in the fourth allowed the Yankees to score their two runs. But starting pitcher Framber Valdez stiffened, and pitched seven innings to hand off the lead to his trusty teammates from the bullpen.
The win puts the Astros only two sins from returning to the World Series for a second straight season.
Yankees vs. Astros Pitching Matchup, Game 3 ALCS
Cristian Javier (0-0, 6.75 ERA in PS) vs. Gerrit Cole (2-0, 2.03 ERA in PS)
The last time Gerrit Cole was pitching this well in the postseason, he was wearing an Astros hat. In 2019 when he was with Houston, Cole made four brilliant starts in the postseason, helping to lead the Astros to the World Series.
Cole has a pair of victories to his credit this season during the playoffs, including a huge win in Game 5 last Tuesday to move the Yankees past the Guardians. The big righthander has struck out eight batters in each of his two starts in the playoffs, and other than two home runs, he really hasn’t made any mistakes. That’s great news for the Yankees, who might need a no-hitter to beat the Astros, who have now won seven of nine meetings between these two teams in 2022.
The most important matchup to watch in Game 3 will be Cole vs. Yordan Alvarez, who has two homers off the Yankee pitcher.
The Astros have scratched Lance McCullers Jr. due to elbow inflammation suffered during the celebration after the team won the AL Division Series. It seems a champagne bottle smacked his pitching arm. Ouch!
Dusty Baker turns to Cristian Javier for Game 3 instead. In 2022, Javier made 25 starts, and in 15 of them the righthander allowed three runs or less and went at least five innings. He’s more than just a back-of-the-rotation gap-filler: Javier tied with Framber Valdez for the team lead with 194 strikeouts, and he led Houston starters with an 11.7 K rate per nine innings.
How does Javier get his swings and misses? His fastball spin is excellent. But it’s his curveball spin that is elite. Still, Javier relies on his four-seam fastball a lot (59.9% of the time), which means Yankee batters could wait on it. However, if we’ve learned anything in two games of this series: the Yankee lineup is having a hard time making contact. The 30 strikeouts by New York batters is a record for consecutive postseason games. If anything, the Javier “emergency” start might actually hurt the Yanks chances to get runners on base.
Houston Astros relief pitcher Ryan Pressly (55) works on the mound during the ninth inning in Game 2 of baseball’s American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)
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Yankees, Astros ALCS Game 3 Pick
The Astros offense didn’t make the most of 11 baserunners, and most troubling to manager Dusty Baker, the lineup was only 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. That makes the ‘Stros 6-for-29 with RISP this postseason. Yet Houston is undefeated, which only means the Astros haven’t played their best game yet on the hitting side, and are still managing to win.
We expect Cole to be formidable and to keep the Yankees in Game 3, but eventually Jose Altuve has to get a hit, and the Astros have to show off even more offensive pop.
We expect Javier to perform like teammate Luis Garcia did in Game 3 of the ALDS, when the latter gave the Astros five shutout innings in relief. Javier, like Garcia and Jose Urquidy, have sort of been left out of the discussion for this postseason after the “Big 3” starters of Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, and Lance McCullers Jr. That results in a giant chip on the pitching shoulder of Javier, Uquidy, and Garcia, and we think Game 3 will see the former (11-9 with a 2.54 ERA in the regular season) flex his talents.
Take the Astros at +130 from Caesars to win Game 3.