New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros Pick

by | Apr 8, 2019 | mlb

Time: 7:10 pm ET
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Listed Pitchers: Justin Verlander (Hou) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (NY)
TV: ESPN, YES, SportsNet-Southwest
Moneyline: Astros -160/Yankees +145
Over/Under: 7.5

The New York Yankees and Houston Astros both just swept series over the weekend, and now hook up for a three-game series at Minute Maid Park beginning Monday night. Houston is a rather heavy favorite for Game 1, throwing its ace, but New York bats come in hot. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick for Monday?

MLB Betting Odds

Monday’s MLB betting odds opened Houston and Verlander at around -160 over New York and Tanaka, with an over/under of 7.5 runs. Both figures were holding steady in early betting action.

The Astros could also be found getting around +135 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.

Yanks vs. Astros Set-Up

New York just swept three games from the Orioles in Baltimore over the weekend, winning Sunday’s series finale 15-3, belting seven home runs. For the series the Yankees outscored the O’s 29-11.

Houston, meanwhile, just swept three games at home from Oakland over the weekend, winning Sunday’s series finale 9-8 on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth. For the series the Astros outscored the A’s 18-10.

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So after scoring a total of just 13 runs over its previous seven games Houston has scored 15 over its last two.

Last year the Yankees took the season series from the Astros five games to two, and took three of four from Houston at Minute Maid Park.

Monday’s Starting Arms

Verlander (1-0, 4.09) is one-for-two on quality starts this season. In his season debut 11 days ago he held Tampa Bay to one run and three hits through seven innings, with nine strikeouts, in a 5-1 Houston win. But last Tuesday he gave up four runs and six hits through just four innings of a 6-4 Astros loss at Texas. Verlander needed 94 pitches to get 12 outs that day, which is not good.

In two starts last year against New York Verlander allowed just one run and eight hits through 14 2/3 innings, with 19 whiffs and zero walks. Somehow Houston managed to lose one of those games, while both games played under their totals.

Tanaka (1-0, 1.46) is one out away from being 2/2 on quality starts this season. In his season debut 11 days ago he held Baltimore to one earned run on six hits through 5 2/3 innings of a 7-2 Yankees victory. Then last Tuesday he held Detroit to one run and eight hits through 6 2/3 innings, although New York eventually lost that game 3-1. Tanaka’s also recorded 12 strikeouts through his first two starts, with zero walks.

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In his only start last season against Houston Tanaka allowed three runs and five hits through six innings of a 6-5 Yankees victory.

Monday’s Batting Splits

  • New York is hitting .284/.396/.542 against right-handed pitching this season. This lineup also banged 14 home runs in the just-completed series in Baltimore.
  • Houston is hitting .266/.339/.407 against RH pitching this season.

The Bullpens

  • The Yankees bullpen has allowed 10 ER on 24 hits and 14 walks through 34 1/3 innings of work this season.
  • The Astros pen has allowed eight ER on 20 hits and six walks through 27 2/3 innings this season.

Totals Report

  • The overs are 5-4 in Yankees games this season.
  • The unders are 8-2 in Astros games this season.
  • The unders finished 4-2-1 in Yankees-Astros games last season.
  • The unders finished 42-37-2 in games played at Minute Maid Park last season, which averaged 8.2 runs per.

Free MLB Pick

Verlander may own a slight edge in the pitching match-up but New York’s sticks are hot, even without Stanton. And while Houston should be favored for this match-up the line on this game seems inflated. We’re going with the value on the Yankees for our free MLB pick for Monday.