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New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros Pick

by | Last updated Apr 9, 2019 | mlb

New York Yankees (5-5) vs. Houston Astros (6-5), 4/9/19
Time: 8:10 pm ET
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Listed Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (Hou) vs. Jonathan Loaisiga (NY)
TV: ESPN, YES, SportsNet-Southwest
Moneyline: Astros -185/Yankees +165
Over/Under: 8

After a slow start to this season the Houston Astros are suddenly hot, and just came from behind to beat the Yankees Monday night giving us the check mark in the right column. MLB sportsbooks now have Houston as a heavy favorite for the middle game of this three-game series Tuesday night. Which way are we going for our Tuesday MLB pick?

MLB Betting Odds

The majority of MLB bookmakers opened Houston and Cole at around -175 over New York and Loaisiga, with an over/under of 8 runs. If you use a reduced margin book like 5dimes you saw -167 as the best price. Early betting action then bumped that spread a dime or so..

Yanks vs. Astros Set-Up

Houston rallied to take the opener of this series Monday night 4-3, avoiding what would have been a –150 loss against the MLB dime line. The Astros trailed New York 3-1 but scored twice in the bottom of the seventh and once in the bottom of the eighth off the Yankees bullpen to steal the victory.

New York had Justin Verlander on the ropes a couple of times, but some free-swinging cost them.

Monday’s game also played under a total of 8.

Monday’ loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Yankees, whose pitching staff has held opponents to 21 runs over the last seven games.

Houston now owns a four-game winning streak.

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

Tuesday’s Starting Arms

Cole (0-2, 3.00), by our tough standards, is 1/2 on quality starts this season. Eleven days ago he allowed four runs in six innings at Tampa Bay, but only one of those runs was earned. Then last Wednesday he allowed three runs through six innings at Texas. He’s also struck out 19 over his 12 innings of work so far this season. Thanks to some poor run support the Yankees lost both his starts, and both games played under their totals.

With those strikeouts comes high pitch counts; Cole threw 101 pitches against the Rays, then 105 against the Rangers. We wonder if Houston might try to scale Cole back a bit Tuesday night.

This will be Cole’s first start against New York since 2014, when he was with Pittsburgh, and that’s a long time ago.

Loaisiga (0-0, 2.25) is coming off a good outing last Wednesday against Detroit, when he allowed just one run on one hit and three walks through four innings of a game the Yanks eventually lost 2-1. Loaisiga needed 70 pitches to get those 12 outs.

Last year Loaisiga allowed 14 ER through 24 2/3 innings at the Big League level, with 12 walks and 33 whiffs, after going 6-1/2.89 in the Minors.

This will be Loaisiga’s first-ever start against Houston, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.

Tuesday’s Batting Splits

  • New York is hitting .277/.383/.517 against right-handed pitching this season. This lineup has also hit 15 home runs over the last four games.
  • Houston is hitting .258/.333/.401 against RH pitching this season.

The Bullpens

  • After blowing Monday’s game the Yankees bullpen has now allowed 13 ER on 28 hits and 16 walks through 36 1/3 innings of work this season.
  • The Astros bullpen has now allowed just eight ER on 21 hits and seven walks through 30 2/3 innings this season.

Totals Report

  • The overs are 5-5 in Yankees games this season.
  • The unders are 9-2 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

We thought there was value with New York as an underdog Monday, and if not for the blown save by the bullpen we’d have hit. The same reasoning applies for Tuesday. Houston probably owns edges in the pitching match-up and the bullpen comparison, but it’s just favored by too darn much. The Yankees lineup had a chance or two at breaking Verlander Monday night; hopefully they can come through Tuesday night. We’re taking the underdog price with New York for our free MLB pick for Tuesday.