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Houston Astros at New York Yankees
A rematch of two of the last four AL Championship Series plays out when Houston and New York begin a three-game series tonight. The first pitch for the Astros vs. Yankees contest is slated for 7:06 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium in New York. These teams didn’t play last season, and this is the first of seven meetings this year. The last time these teams met, Houston advanced to the World Series with a 4–2 win in the ALCS two years ago. The Astros also defeated the Yankees 4–3 during the 2017 ALCS. Both teams are on a recent winning streak as they each have eight wins over their last 11 games.
Houston (15–13) opened the season with a 6–1 record but lost nine of their next 10 games while dealing with COVID-19 issues. Back to full health, the Astros posted 3–1 series wins at home against the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners. Houston heads to New York following a 2–1 series win on the road against Tampa Bay. The Astros won the first two games, 9–2 and 3–1, before the Rays avoiding a sweep with a 5–4 win in the series finale. Houston has outscored their opponents by a 61–28 margin during the last 11 games. They allowed two or fewer runs in seven of those contests.
New York (14–14) is playing below their lofty preseason expectations as they opened the year with a 6–11 record. Turning things around, the Yankees outscored the Indians 16-14 during a 3–1 series win in Cleveland. A 2–2 series split followed that in Baltimore. New York posted 5–1 and 7–0 wins but struggled on offense during 4–2 and 4–3 F/10 losses. Returning to Yankee Stadium, New York outscored Detroit 18–4 during a 3–0 series sweep on the weekend. Aaron Judge hit two home runs, including a grand slam, during the Yankees’ 10–0 win in the first game against the struggling Tigers.
Following his shortest outing this season, RHP Zack Greinke (2–1, 3.44 ERA) is making his seventh start for Houston. He allowed four runs and four hits, over four innings, during the Astros 7–5 win against Seattle on April 28. RHP Domingo Germán (2–2, 4.48 ERA) is making his fourth start for New York. He allowed 10 runs, over 13 innings, during his first three starts. Strong in his last outing, Germán pitched seven scoreless innings during the Yankees 7–0 win in Baltimore on April 28. Houston is averaging 4.92 runs, while New York scores 3.92 runs per game. Bet the moneyline and back the Astros.
Pick Houston Astros (+108) moneyline
Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles and Tampa Bay are playing the second of a four-game series. The Angels vs. Rays matchup is slated for 9:38 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Tampa Bay jumped out to a 4–0 third inning lead and posted a 7–3 win last night. These teams didn’t meet last year, and the Rays edged the Angels 4–3 during the 2019 season series. Six of those games were decided by at least two runs. High-scoring contests have been common as 10 or more total runs were scored in five of the last seven meetings. After covering as chalk last night, the Rays are the run line favorite again tonight.
Tampa Bay (15–15) is tied for third with New York in the AL East standings. They trail Toronto by just a half-game and division-leading Boston by 2.5 games. The Rays headed cross-country after posting a 4–6 record during a 10-game homestand. Tampa Bay lost two of three against Toronto before a 2–2 series split with Oakland. That was followed by a 2–1 series loss to Houston. The Rays average 4.20 runs per game on offense and allow 4.46 runs on defense. Including the win last night, Tampa Bay has won five of their last six road games, and the Rays are 8–5 overall as visitors.
Los Angeles (13–14) is fourth overall in the AL West. The Angels trail Houston and Seattle by 1.5 games, and they are 3.5 behind division-leading Oakland. After opening the season with a 7–3 record, Los Angeles has lost 11 of their last 17 games. The Angels returned home after a 4–6 run during a 10–game road trip. They lost three of four in Houston, posted a 2–1 series win in Texas, and then lost two of three in Seattle. Los Angeles had a 27–14 scoring edge in the four wins and were outscored 44–13 during the six losses. The Angeles score 4.74 runs and allow 5.48 runs per game.
Highly touted prospect LHP Shane McClanahan (0–0, 4.50 ERA) is making his second start for Tampa Bay. On five hits over 4.0 innings, he gave up two runs during the Rays 3–2 loss to Oakland on April 29. Ranked fifth on the depth chart, RHP Alex Cobb (1–1, 7.16 ERA) makes his fifth start for Los Angeles. Despite allowing 14 runs on 24 hits over 16.1 innings, the Angels are 3–1 during his first four starts. Cobb allowed five runs in one start and three runs in each of his other three starts. While the generous +150 Tampa Bay run line juice is tempting, bet the moneyline and back the Rays.
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (-110) moneyline
2021 MLB Regular Season Betting Record: 17–21 (-6.36 Units)
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