ALCS Preview & Betting Odds: New York Yankees Vs. Houston Astros

Posted on October 12, 2019

The New York Yankees are once again four wins away from the World Series. This Yankees ALCS betting preview endeavors to show New York sports betting participants how they can cash in on Brian Cashman’s crew.

If the team composed by the Yankees’ general manager reaches the World Series for the 41st time in franchise history, it could pay off very well for bettors in the Empire State. That requires striking now, however.

Yankees ALCS betting preview: background

The Yankees faced the Houston Astros, their opponent in this year’s ALCS, seven times during the past regular season. Houston won four of those seven meetings.

The run differential was pretty even, with the Astros slightly outscoring the Yankees 39-37 in the seven contests. The series was almost completely decided by the home-field advantage.

New York lost all three of its games in Houston, although that series was played all the way back on April 8-10. The Yankees then took a four-game set in New York on June 20-23, winning the first three games before dropping the series finale.

The two teams haven’t met since late June, but the Astros will enjoy home-field advantage in this series because of their better overall regular-season record. That means to get to the World Series, the Yankees will have to do something for the first time this season: win in Houston.

Facing down the Astros will require much more than a road win, however. Even in New York’s home games, the task is a tall one.

If the pitching doesn’t get you, the offense might

Simply put, the Astros’ starting pitching rotation was the best staff in the bigs during the regular season. Led by Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, Houston pitchers led the league in strikeouts while also posting the top earned run average.

The Tampa Bay Rays defeated Verlander in the previous series, so there’s some hope. Tampa Bay was unable to stymie Cole’s strikeout machine, however.

If the Yankees can defeat Verlander and weather Cole, there’s hope after that. Zack Greinke continued his postseason struggles in the last series, and the Houston bullpen is mortal.

Should the Bronx Bombers take off against the Astros’ pitching, that’s no guarantee for four victories, however. Houston not only led the league in most strikeouts issued, but it also led the majors in fewest strikeouts suffered by its batters.

It’s the first time a team has achieved both of those marks in the same season. That makes the Astros a formidable opponent.

Because of that, sportsbooks favor Houston to win the AL pennant despite New York’s extra days of rest. The Yankees’ odds got even longer after the Astros finished off the Rays Thursday night.

Breaking down the odds on the Yankees advancing

Before Houston advanced, the Yankees were a moderate risk. Now that the Astros are the team standing in the way, the odds are longer.

Each of the four NY casinos have a legal sportsbook partner. The odds on New York winning the AL pennant prior to Game 5 of the Houston-Tampa Bay ALDS at three of those books were:

Each of the four books adjusted those odds after the Astros won Game 5. The odds now sit at:

  • DraftKings: +250
  • FanDuel: +310
  • Rivers: +145

Rivers offers even more attractive odds for those willing to put money down not only on the Yankees winning the series but predicting how many games it will take. Those lines range from +1500 for a New York sweep to +600 on the Yankees winning in seven games.

New York would greatly aid its cause by taking the first game of the series on Saturday.

Early outlook for Game 1 in Houston Saturday night

While neither team has officially named its starter for Game 1 of the ALCS, expect it to be a James Paxton vs. Greinke affair. Paxton has a 3.38 career ERA in 14 starts against the Astros, although all of those innings came as a member of the Seattle Mariners.

Paxton’s performances at Minute Maid Park have been even better. His ERA in eight games there is 3.07. The defense behind him will be key, as Paxton has a batting average on balls in play of .349 in those outings.

If the Yankees can steal Game 1 in Houston, they stand a great chance to give themselves a shot at World Series title No. 28. Playing in the franchise’s 41st World Series could also make some bettors in New York richer.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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