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Yankees Tabbed as Home Faves in Must-Win Game 4 vs Astros

The Yankees’ bats were silenced by Houston’s aces, and they now trail 2-1 in the ALCS. Not having to face one of those studs in Game 4, New York has a great chance to even the series at home … and possibly restore their “Bronx Bombers” nickname?

Matchup Information
  • Houston Astros vs New York Yankees (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 17, 8:08 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1
  • Opening Odds: HOU +112/NYY -133 | O/U 7.5  (Line History)
  • Starting Pitchers: HOU Greinke (18-7, 3.30 ERA), NYY Tanaka (13-9, 4.24)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Yankees are great at home, and Houston’s pitcher isn’t named Verlander or Cole, so it’s not a shock that the Yankees are favorites. The Yankees scored seven runs in Game 1 against Zack Greinke and Houston’s bullpen, but Tanaka is at his best in the playoffs, so the total has held at 7.5.

Houston News & Notes

The Houston Astros may have lost the opening game of the ALCS, but they weren’t panicking as they had Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole going in Games 2 and 3. Their studs delivered, as Houston held the Yankees to three runs over those two contests, and they’re back in the driver’s seat with a 2-1 series lead.

The Astros offense hasn’t exactly been slugging of late, but one man who’s delivering is Jose Altuve. The diminutive second baseman has hit safely in all eight of his postseason games and kick-started the scoring in Game 3 with a first-inning home run off Luis Severino.

Manager A.J. Hinch had originally tabbed rookie Jose Urquidy to start on Wednesday but inclement weather pushed Game 4 to Thursday. That means Hinch will now go back to his Game 1 starter, Zack Greinke. Greinke allowed three runs over six innings in the series’ opening game and will look to get some revenge as the Astros attempt to take a stranglehold on the series.

New York News & Notes

It’s hard to be a Yankees fan right now and not be disappointed; they were tied in Game 2 with Justin Verlander’s day finished, while Gerrit Cole looked very human in Game 3, yet New York could not capitalize, dropping both games while scoring just three runs total.

Why did they struggle? Among other things, it was their lack of clutch hitting; over the past two games, New York was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The Yankees couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities to score, and now they’re trailing in the ALCS.

As for pitching, manager Aaron Boone also had his game plan changed by the rainout. Originally planning to piece together a bullpen game on Wednesday, he now also gets to go back to his Game 1 starter, Masahiro Tanaka, on regular rest.

While it spares overusing the bullpen by design, the postponement presents a new challenge for New York: the Yanks would now potentially play the final four games of this series on four consecutive days. Boone hasn’t been shy about using his bullpen early and often, but with no rest days remaining, he’ll have to be creative in his reliever usage … or risk having a tired bullpen for a potential Game 6 and 7.

Betting Pick: Yankees -133

The Yankees, at home, against a pitcher who’s not a Cy Young favorite? I’ll take my chances.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New York’s last 5 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Houston’s last 16 road games.
  • New York is 8-3 SU in its last 11 home games against Houston.