Free ALCS Series Prediction: Yankees vs Astros Odds
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2017 ALCS Free Series Picks & Odds
It feels like the dawn of a new era in the American League. The Houston Astros broke through with their young core and are through to the ALCS for the first time since 2005 with the likes of Roger Clemens and the Killer B’s.
The Yankees, meanwhile, are years ahead of their rebuild after overcoming an early deficit in the Wild Card game and then a 2–0 hole in the ALDS against the best team in baseball.
Only one of these two young cores will advance to the World Series, with the other one having to start the climb again as one of the favorites next year. Either way, both these teams figure to be in the mix in the American League for years to come.
2017 ALDS Free Series Prediction: Offense
New York managed to do some serious damage off of a man who already has one Cy Young in his trophy case and will likely add another one this year in Corey Kluber. New York bounced him early in Games 2 and 5, though they only won the latter.
It was impressive, nonetheless, especially considering Aaron Judge was self-inflicting in the second spot in the lineup. Judge went 1-for-20 with 16 strikeouts in the series, though his one hit was a fairly important RBI double in Game 4 that went a long way in keeping New York alive.
The Yankees figure to be quite dangerous if Judge goes off but the likelihood of such a thing happening feels practically nonexistent. He just hasn’t been able to cut his swing down enough since the fiasco at Home Run Derby to hit serious pitching.
Even his 15 home runs in September felt a little fake in a lot of spots that didn’t matter to a lot of pitchers who didn’t belong in Major League Baseball.
The lineup isn’t all Judge but New York goes to a definitive underdog when he isn’t producing to a small favorite when he is; he’s that big.
Houston’s lineup is just ridiculous though and I’m not just saying that because everybody was hot against Boston. The Astros will face more resistance from New York’s pitching but really it will be them putting the pressure on the opponent.
That’s the best way I can describe Houston’s offense, it is always putting the pressure on the other side for a variety of reasons. Firstly, everybody has home run power and is looking to hit one.
But they don’t sell out for the entire at-bat and strike out often. The Astros struck out fewer than any team in baseball this season.
That sort of combination makes the start of every at-bat scary for whatever pitcher is on the mound.
They have to be cautious because aggressiveness doesn’t often result in a strikeout and will too often lead to a mistake that the ‘Stros will take advantage of.
But there aren’t many guys who go out of the strike zone if the opposing pitcher is nibbling, trying to get swings on pitches that are tough to hit. There aren’t any shortcuts to holding this attack down.
Edge: Houston Astros
I’m giving Houston the offense edge against any team in baseball. Just no holes and no really straight-forward game plan for the opposing pitcher.
2017 ALDS Free Series Prediction: Pitching
Including the Wild Card, the Yankees have started CC Sabathia and Luis Severino twice each thus far. Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka have each made a start.
Sabathia looks like a rock with his experience and ability to go after hitters confidently in such a setting but he won’t get the ball until Game 3, most likely. That leaves Gray and Tanaka in Houston, unless Girardi wants to bring Severino back on less rest.
Tanaka was fantastic in New York, out-dueling Carlos Carrasco in a 1–0 win that kept New York’s season alive. Gray struggled in Cleveland and it won’t get any easier going to Houston.
It will be all about New York’s bullpen, which was fantastic in the ALDS. Girardi will have to get crafty and use all of his guys as often as possible just to keep Houston off-balance. It’s really the only approach to take against this lineup, just continually throwing different guys at them.
Houston will send Justin Verlander back to the mound in Game 1, even after he pitched in relief in Houston’s clincher. But that was all the way back on Monday. Dallas Keuchel will follow him in Game 2, just like it went against Boston when Houston took a 2–0 lead on the road.
The Astros have enough pitching but not as much as New York. If the Yankees can shake them early, it will throw AJ Hinch into panic mode.
Edge: New York Yankees
Just a small advantage here because of the many arms in the bullpen. Guys like Adam Warren and Chad Green represent extra depth Houston does not have.
Something is telling me Jordan Montgomery will be asked to keep the Yankees close in an important game in this series.
2017 ALCS Free Series Prediction: Yankees vs. Astros
New York really has its work cut out for it having to win a game in Houston. The Astros are so good in that building and they get to start at the top of their rotation. Off the bat, Houston has the advantage.
But the Yankees have the counter attack possibility, of sort. Of course, if they manage to steal one of the first two, they will feel good going back home.
Even if they don’t, though, if they hit Houston hard in New York they have the chance to steal the momentum in the second-half of the series, just as they did against Cleveland. And it could be too late for the Astros to recover.
That said, I’m going to stick wit hate status quo: Houston wins at home and manages to get one in New York, too. That lineup just has too much power to stay quiet for too long of a stretch.
2017 ALCS Prediction: Astros in 6
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