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Underdog Yankees must overcome Verlander to stay alive in ALCS

Justin Verlander MLB playoffs ALCS Game 5 Betting Preview Houston Astros vs New York Yankees

The Astros won the first two of three ALCS games in New York, and now sit one win away from their second World Series appearance in three seasons. With Justin Verlander on the mound, and New York’s offense struggling, the Astros look like the smart play for bettors in Game 5.

Matchup Information
  • Houston Astros vs New York Yankees (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 18, 7:08 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1
  • Opening Odds: HOU -150/NYY +140 | O/U 8.0  (Line History)
  • Starting Pitchers: HOU Verlander (22-7, 2.66 ERA), NYY Paxton (15-6, 3.88)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Yankees’ bats haven’t just gone cold — every hitter except DJ LeMahieu has disappeared. Couple that with Verlander on the mound in an elimination game, and Houston is obviously a big favorite. The total has stayed at 8, but that’s more on account of James Paxton pitching for New York; he’s struggled in his first two playoff outings.

Houston News & Notes

It’s not just that Houston leads the ALCS 3-1 that’s a big story —  it’s how the Astros have done it over their three straight wins.

They’re out-homering New York 6-3. They’ve struck out 14 fewer times than New York. Their bullpen has outpitched the Yankees’ collection of highly touted relievers. Their defense was much better and, to no surprise, their starting pitching was far superior.

The Astros are one win from stamping their ticket to the World Series, and they’ve got one of their aces, Justin Verlander, on the hill. Verlander allowed two runs over 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts in Game 2, and with the way New York’s offense has struggled, plus knowing Gerrit Cole has his back in a potential Game 6, Verlander should be primed to end the series.

New York News & Notes

For the second straight game, New York had a chance to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard early in the game, but a complete lack of clutch hitting, and an implosion on defense, brought the boo birds out in full force as they embarrassingly lost 8-3 in Game 4.

The Yankees led baseball by hitting .294 with runners in scoring position during the regular season but are 1-for-16 with RISP over their last three games — all losses — and they’re now staring elimination in the face, with Justin Verlander awaiting them.

With just three hitters batting over .167 in the series, New York needs someone to step up. And it might just have to be their highest-paid player, Giancarlo Stanton. He’s yet to appear in the ALCS due to injury, but with so many Yankees looking completely lost in this series, Stanton could be plugged in at DH as a last-ditch attempt to try to save New York’s season.

Betting Pick: Houston -150

Verlander against a comatose offense, with the Yankees starting a shaky James Paxton? Sounds like Houston wraps up the ALCS in the Bronx.

Shark Bites
  • Houston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games against New York.
  • Houston is 10-3 SU in its last 13 road games.
  • New York is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games played on a Friday.