After finding themselves in a 2-0 hole, the New York Yankees have stormed back, winning three straight games at home to put the Houston Astros in a must-win Game 6 situation – something none of us would have expected after two games in the series. During the Yankees’ postseason run, they’ve won all of their home games. However, the final two games of the series (if there is a game seven) will both be in Houston – the Yankees will need more than just home field advantage to close out the series. Can they count on Luis Severino to lead the way in Game 6 and deliver the Yankees back to the World Series?
Why The Yankees Might Win
The Yankees found themselves in a similar position, being down 2-0 to the Cleveland Indians, before reeling off three straight wins to advance to the ALCS. The Yankees are fortunate to have their best starter on the mound in this game. Luis Severino was the Yankees’ most consistent starter during the regular season, compiling a 14-6 record with a 2.98 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 1.04 WHIP, 10.7 K/9, 0.22:1 BB:K ratio, and 0.98 HR/9 rate. However, in two regular season games against the Yankees, Severino struggled badly to the tune of 15 H, 9 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, and 9 K while lasting only 7.2 IP. While Severino was a bit better in game two against the Astros (4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 0 K), he’ll have to be much better if the Yankees are going to close this series out in game six to avoid having to go to a deciding game seven. Realistically, the Yankees will be hoping for at least five solid innings from Severino before turning to their shutdown bullpen. The Yankees’ offense has also woken up and if their pitching can limit the Astros’ offense, this series should be wrapped up sooner rather than later.
Why The Astros Might Win
The Astros’ offense has been in somewhat of a funk during this series, after exploding against the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. In five games so far, the Astros have scored a total of seven runs – uncharacteristic of a team with a stacked lineup. The Astros should find some comfort knowing they’ll be at home for the final two games and that Justin Verlander will be on the mound for this crucial must-win game six. Verlander has been terrific since he came over to the Astros from the Detroit Tigers. In game two against the Yankees, Verlander pitched a complete game – 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 13 K! He’ll have all the pressure on him to replicate his performance from game two and push the Yankees to a game seven. The Astros offense is more than capable of bouncing back and Verlander is more than capable of shutting down the Yankees.
We’ve seen a lot of movement on this betting line since open. The Astros opened up at -126 but the line has climbed as high as -143. At this point, it has dropped back down slightly to -142, but overall, it looks like bettors have interested in the Astros. As far as the total goes, we haven’t seen much movement as it opened up at 7.5 under -120 and it currently sits at 7.5 under -125.
Based on Severino and Verlander’s respective games against their opposing teams, Verlander has a huge edge. However, knowing that Severino has yet to pitch a good game against the Astros makes me feel iffy that he might have one just in time for game six. Additionally, the Yankees’ bullpen has been absolutely on a tear and if they’re able to properly bridge the gap from starting pitching to the bullpen, the Astros will be in a world of trouble. With that said, I still believe the Astros are the better team, have their best starter on the mound, and are back playing in front of their home crowd. The Astros win game six by a slim margin and this series goes to a final and deciding game seven. Lay the small amount of juice with the Astros as their home-field advantage and Verlander should get them the edge.
Pick: Astros -140
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