Cortes, Valdes on Bump in Yankees-Astros Opener

Yankees vs Astros Odds Favor the Astros In Thursday's Series Opener

A Big Stage for Juan Soto to Make His Yankees’ Debut

Two of the teams expected to compete for the American League pennant will begin the 2024 season with a four-game series. The Yankees vs Astros odds.

The Yankees won five of the seven games against the Astros last season and that included sweeping a three-game series on the road in September as the Yankees held Houston to seven runs in the three games.

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The MLB betting lines have the Astros priced at +135 to cover against the run line as the 1.5-run favorite with -150 odds to win Thursday’s series opener outright. The Yankees have +135 odds to win the opener outright.

Houston and New York are tied for the best odds at +450 to win the American League pennant and begin the season near the top of the MLB power rankings.

The MLB playoff odds have the Yankees favored at +175 in the odds to win the American League East title with the Astros the best bet at -110 in the AL West.

Yankees logo New York Yankees vs Houston Astros Astros logo

Day/Time:
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Streaming: Thursday – Yes, Space City Home Network; Friday – Apple TV+; Saturday- Fox.

Probable Starting Pitchers

  • Thursday: Nestor Cortes (Yankees); Framber Valdez (Astros)
  • Friday: Carlos Rodon (Yankees); Cristian Javier (Astros)
  • Saturday: Marcus Stroman (Yankees); Hunter Brown (Astros)
  • Sunday: Clarke Schmidt (Yankees); To be Announced (Astros)

Pitching Depth Could Be Tested

After starting 33 games for the Yankees over the last two seasons, Gerrit Cole won’t be hitting that mark this season. There are reports that Cole won’t make his 2024 season debut until early June as a result of an elbow injury. When looking at the MLB stats, Cole is coming off his best season as a Yankee with a 15-4 record and a 2.63 ERA.

Pitcher Tommy Kahnle is doubtful for the series opener while Scott Effros and Lou Trivino aren’t expected to pitch until July. Keep that in mind when considering the Yankees vs Astros odds.

There are some injuries that will impact the batting lineup as well but key offseason acquisition Juan Soto is set to make his New York debut with slugging outfielder Aaron Judge and first baseman Anthony Rizzo looking good to go.

The total went under in seven of New York’s last eight road games and five of the last six games overall.

Familiar Faces Back for the Astros

While some American League teams were rather active on the trade and free agent market in the offseason, Houston subscribed to the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” strategy.

All nine Astros with at least 100 hits during the 2023 season are back with the team. There will be a change at catcher with Martin Maldonado now with the Chicago White Sox and Victor Caratini brought in to team with Yainer Diaz. That could factor into the Yankees vs Astros Odds.

Outfielder Jake Meyers is questionable for the series opener while relief pitcher Bryan Abreu will be suspended for the first two games of the series.

The Astros made a big move to upgrade the bullpen with the addition of Josh Hader, one of the leaders in saves and strikeouts per nine innings in recent seasons.

Houston is 1-5 in its last six games against AL East teams.

Who’s Hot

  • Ronel Blanco, Houston Astros P: Blanco didn’t allow an earned run and struck out 13 in 10.2 innings in spring training.
  • Mauricio Dubon, Houston Astros IF: Dubon had 10 runs, six extra-base hits, and a .706 slugging percentage in spring training.
  • Carlos Rodon, New York Yankees P: After going 3-8 in an injury-plagued first season with the Yankees, Rodon started four games in the spring with seven hits and four runs allowed.
  • Juan Soto, New York Yankees OF: Soto led the Yankees with four home runs and 10 RBIs in spring training.

Who’s Not

  • Brandon Bielak, Houston Astros P: Bielak was 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA in six spring training appearances.
  • Nestor Cortes, New York Yankees P: Cortes allowed 17 hits and nine earned runs in 10 innings in spring training action.
  • Trent Grisham, New York Yankees OF: Grisham hit .186 with 14 strikeouts in 43 at-bats in spring training.
  • Jon Singleton, Houston Astros 1B: Singleton was 8-for-40 with two extra-base hits in spring training.

Yankees vs Astros Injury Update

Along with the injuries to Cole, Effross, and Trivino, second baseman DJ LeMahieu is dealing with a foot injury, outfielder Jasson Dominguez is on the 60-day injured list with an elbow injury, and infielder Oswald Perez is sidelined with a shoulder injury for the Yankees.

For the Astros, pitchers Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, and Jose Urquidy will be sidelined for the start of the season while Kendall Graveman will miss the entire 2024 season.

Yankees vs Astros Betting Preview

The Yankees have won four of their last five games against American League West Division teams and are 6-3 in its last nine games in March.

The total has gone under in four of the last five games between the Astros and the Yankees with the total set at 8.5 runs in the series and season opener.

Five of Houston’s last six games went over the total.

The Astros lost their last five home games.

The total went under in four of Houston’s last five home matchups against the Yankees.

It will be interesting to watch if Cortes can turn it on after a mediocre spring while Houston might have the edge in the series with pretty much the same lineup that had the Astros in contention for another World Series title.

For MLB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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