We have been on a roll in these MLB playoffs, correctly picking three straight games in the Dodgers vs. Cubs series and also tabbing the Astros to survive last night in game six against the Yankees.
That helped Houston move to game seven, where they’ll try to push their way into the World Series. It also handed us or fourth straight win in a row and on Saturday we’ll look for lucky number five.
That will admittedly not be easy, as we could go either way in this series-clinching contest. The Astros seemed to have this thing in the bag early on, as they raced out to a 2-0 lead, only to drop three in a row at Yankee Stadium.
While Houston nearly choked a trip to the World Series away, they’ve yet to lose at home in this series and still can get in with a win at their own ballpark. New York has the bats to rise up and give the Astros problems, though, so this could be an extremely intense game seven.
Should we back the Astros at their home park, ride with the Yanks or attack this game’s Total? Let’s take a closer look at the game seven matchup to find out:
The Astros finally launched offensively in game six, scoring 7 runs in an easy 7-1 win. They also rode Justin Verlander heavily, and he responded with an amazing performance with his team’s season on the line.
The big question is if that was the start of a two-game tear or a last gasp to stop the bleeding.
Heading into game seven, it potentially could be a little bit of both. The pitching hitting the dirt isn’t bad, but it’s also by no means elite. BetOnline and other baseball betting sites are playing this one close to the chest, as Houston enters as mild -125 favorites at home.
Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) enjoyed a career year at age 33 but has not come up big for the Astros in the playoffs. He’ll take the ball in hopes of being part of the reason why Houston advances to the World Series.
Morton was dreadful in his last start in these playoffs, as the Yankees slapped him around to the tune of 7 runs in just over three innings. A less than desirable outing against the Red Sox in the ALDS isn’t encouraging for those hoping for some herculean effort, either.
The Yankees have had Morton’s number this year, too. The only other time he went face to face with this offense, they dropped four runs on him. Morton still has immense strikeout upside and could be the perfect “redeemer” arm in this spot, but there are valid concerns.
C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA) gets ready to toss some fire, as well. The 37-year-old southpaw has had one of his better seasons of the last few years and has also enjoyed a solid stay in this postseason. Sabathia shut the Astros out in his first start in this series and has allowed just four total runs in three playoff appearances.
Is this a career-defining moment for a guy closer to his MLB exit than his entrance? Or is Sabathia the next casualty as the Astros steamroll their way into the World Series?
It’s hard to know for sure. The Yankees do not have a great matchup by the numbers. The long ball has been alive against right-handed pitching (15 home runs) in the playoffs, but on the year the Yanks were a below average offense against righties.
Houston, meanwhile, is tasked with taking on a veteran lefty and they’re in a similar boat. The Astros ranked 5th during the regular season in homers off of southpaws but were just the 28th best team in terms of efficiency.
Something has to break here. Ultimately, momentum has swung back in Houston’s favor. The Astros are at home, they have the more talented team on paper and even if this does get into a shootout, they’re still a logical pick. The value lies with the Yankees, but in a game seven road contest, I want more money back with them.
Houston makes sense as the winner tonight and the Yankees put up a valiant effort after falling into an 0-2 hole. The Astros give us solid value on their own at -125, so we’ll ride with the team that was supposed to win this series to begin with.
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