There’s plenty of recent history between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, and reason to believe they’re on a collision course for another October matchup. The Astros have been the better team in the fall, ending the Yankees’ season in 2015, 2017, and 2019. But this seems to be a different team in New York, one that hasn’t lost in the Bronx in exactly a month.
The four-game series is the highlight of MLB’s weekend slate and a great place to make some exciting bets. Let’s break things down here in this Astros vs Yankees series preview.
Opening Game Information
- Game: Astros (43-25) at Yankees (51-18)
- Location: Yankee Stadium
- Day/Time: Thursday
- Television: ATSW, YES, MLB Network
Astros vs Yankees Probable Starting Pitchers
- Thursday: Framber Valdez (Astros) vs Jameson Taillon (Yankees)
- Friday: Justin Verlander (Astros) vs Luis Severino (Yankees)
- Saturday: Cristian Javier (Astros) vs Gerrit Cole (Yankees)
- Sunday: Jose Urquidy (Astros) vs Nestor Cortes (Yankees)
Astros Streaking Into Bronx, Set for Jeers
The last time Houston played at Yankee Stadium it was met with loud boos as fans of the Pinstripers took advantage of their first opportunity to express displeasure at the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. There will be more of that, to be sure, and the series figures to have a playoff atmosphere.
Houston is streaking into the series with wins in six of their last seven, including two straight against the other New York team to begin the week. Yordan Alvarez continued to carry the Astros’ offense with two homers in Wednesday’s 5-3 win, staying within six of MLB leader Aaron Judge (27), who also went deep twice in New York’s victory at Tampa Bay.
Alvarez leads the majors – one spot ahead of Judge – in OPS (1.064) and he’s hitting .443 with seven homers in 17 June games. Between him and the Yankees’ right fielder, the top two offensive threats in baseball will be on the same field this weekend.
The young Houston slugger is looking forward to the matchup.
“Whenever a player goes to New York and plays there, it’s just really exciting with the history of that team and the ballpark,” Alvarez said Wednesday. “We know they’re a really good team so we’re just going to compete and try to win.”
A quick glance at Houston Astros team stats shows several other hitters struggling, but the team is nearly on par with the Yankees when it comes to pitching. Fueled by the best bullpen in baseball (2.55 ERA) and fronted by a reborn Justin Verlander, it’s a wonderful matchup for the best offense in the AL.
Power, Pitching Continue to Propel Yankees
Judge’s two blasts and a two-run go-ahead shot by Jose Trevino in the eighth helped New York take the rubber match in Tampa Bay on Wednesday. Those homers left the Yankees with an astounding 32 in their last 13 games and an MLB-leading 115, 22 more than second-place Houston in the AL.
It was the seventh straight series win for New York. The team is 7-2 thus far in a challenging stretch that includes two series vs the Rays, a three-game series at Toronto, and this weekend’s matchup with the Astros, which figures to be the most intense of the four sets.
Just don’t tell that to Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
“I don’t get that caught up in it,” Boone said Wednesday. “It’s a team we have a rivalry with. You appreciate being involved in a series like that. I don’t think I put any more into it. It’s not October. They’re important games against a great opponent and I hope we play well.”
Trevino, for his part, has been a big part of New York’s success. He helped turn the momentum Wednesday with a pickoff to end a bases-loaded threat and his homer in the eighth was his sixth – all since May 16.
The Yankees’ backstop is also part of the equation for the top staff in the AL (2.90 ERA, tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lowest in the majors). That figure is an even better 2.68 in the team’s current 22-5 run, which began after its last loss in the Bronx on May 23.
- Yordan Alvarez, Astros DH: Multiple RBI in seven of his last 12 games.
- Alex Bregman, Astros 3B: 7-for-21 with two home runs during a five-game hitting streak.
- Aaron Hicks, Yankees CF: Didn’t start Wednesday, hitless on Tuesday, but 6-for-15 with four RBIs over previous four games.
- Clay Holmes, Yankees RP: One run allowed in last 31 appearances.
- Jose Altuve, Astros 2B: 6-for-29 over his last eight games.
- Yuli Gurriel, Astros 1B: Hitless in 14 at-bats over his last four games.
- Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees RF/DH: Batting .122 since return from IL on June 4.
- Josh Donaldson, Yankees 3B: Batting .220 with one home run in June.
- Yankees LHP Aroldis Chapman (Achilles) is set to begin a rehab stint this weekend with Double-A Somerset.
- Yankees RHP Domingo German (shoulder) threw a rehab outing Wednesday.
- Astros OF Jake Meyers (shoulder) had his rehab window come to an end and could rejoin the team in the coming days.
- Astros RHP Jake Odorizzi (leg) is expected to make the first of two rehab outings Friday for Triple-A Sugar Land.
Astros vs Yankees Series Preview Betting Tips
The Yankees aren’t only crushing it on the field, but also at the sportsbook. They’ve earned bettors the most cash relative to Moneyline bets and they are having few issues covering baseball point spreads, garnering positive results on run line wagers. Essentially, until there is reason to go against them (injuries, actual losing streaks), the Yankees are as sure a bet as there is in sports. The payout may not always be there, but the certainty is.
Consider this Astros vs Yankees Series preview, analyze any new injury notes, and check the daily odds as this series progresses, for it is bound to be a great one for fans and bettors alike.