Astros vs. Yankees 3-Game Series Betting Preview & Daily Picks

Willie Bee

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

The upstart Houston Astros are favored on the MLB odds this afternoon in the Bronx where they begin the 2016 season against Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.


April 7th
Astros vs. Yankees Game 3

By: Willie Bee



So much for that 'under' play on Wednesday. With the MLB odds boards set at 7 for the total, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees combined to score seven runs in each of the first two innings to set the tone for the game early. New York would win in going-away fashion, 16-6, sending the two clubs to a decisive third game of their season opening series in the Bronx.

First pitch is set to come at 4:05 PM (ET), New York's Nathan Eovaldi delivering the baseball. Mike Fiers is the first line of defense for Houston, the Yankees small home favorites of -120 on the morning line at Pinnacle. The same sports book has 8 for the total, juicing the 'over' with a -125 price.

Fiers Making 1st Career Appearance At Yankee Stadium
It's generally felt that Fiers is just keeping this rotation slot warm until Lance McCullers (shoulder) rehabs his injury. The righthander had a decent-enough spring, better than winter pickup Doug Fister, and even tossed a no-hitter last summer after being acquired from Milwaukee, but Fiers has some relief experience which could make him a better fit in the 'pen than Fister or Scott Feldman. Thursday will be his first career appearance against the Yankees.

Eovaldi enjoyed a fine spring with four exhibition starts and a 3.07 ERA (14.2 IP), and is set to follow up on a pretty good first season with New York going 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 27 assignments. The Houston native faced his hometown team twice last season, each resulting in Yankee triumphs with a combined 14 frames and only two runs allowed on nine hits. Nobody available to Astros' skipper AJ Hinch on Thursday has ever taken the 26-year-old righthander deep.


Mother Nature, Umpire Notes & A Free Pick
After having the first game of the set rained out on Monday, the same could happen today when the weatherman is calling for a 100% chance of precipitation in the afternoon. The good news is it will be warmer than the past two days (high-50s), assuming they can get the game in.

Ed Hickox draws his first plate assignment of the season in the series finale, and if his even-odd year trends continue like they've played out the past four seasons, 2016 should be one that he favors the 'under.' Now entering his 22nd season calling big league games, the Floridian worked the plate at Yankee Stadium just once a year ago, the result being a 7-2 New York victory that had just enough to get past an 8 run total. The sticks tempt me with an 'over' play, but my free MLB pick will instead be on the home team since predictions back the Yankees on this one.

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Free MLB Pick: Yankees -110
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


April 6th
Astros vs. Yankees Game 2

By: Willie Bee



Mother Nature spoiled Opening Day for the Houston Astros and New York Yankees on Monday. Poor defense spoiled it Tuesday for the Yankees when a throwing error by Dellin Betances led to three 8th-inning runs for the Astros and a 5-3 Houston victory.

The triumph was Houston's 4th-straight in New York, that string including the 2015 AL Wild Card. If there was any good news for the Yankees, it was they finally scored off Astros ace Dallas Keuchel who twirled 22 innings of zeroes against them a year ago and enjoyed 17 frames of scoreless baseball this spring.

New York now looks to even the set Wednesday (7:05 PM ET) in an initial mound duel between righthanders. Collin McHugh gets the call for AJ Hinch while Joe Girardi trots Michael Pineda out to the Bronx bump. A quick check of SBR's live MLB odds finds the Yanks in the low-110s on the overnight moneyline, 7 for the total with Bookmaker taxing the high side at -125.


Pineda In Double Revenge Vs. McHugh
McHugh could turn out to be the greatest waiver wire acquisition in Houston history, if not among the best ever in baseball. The Astros claimed him from Colorado in 2013, and after just 19 innings in Houston's farm system, McHugh has been a fixture in the rotation with a 30-16 mark in 57 assignments. Two of his 19 wins a year ago came against New York, the Georgian going a combined 14.1 innings and surrendering just three runs.

Pineda was the losing pitcher in both of those games, allowing seven earned runs in 12+ innings. The big Dominican was slightly better on the road than at home where the Yankees went 8-7 in his 15 starts, Pineda pitching to a 4.52 ERA.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Scheduled to go under the mask for the umpiring crew Wednesday is veteran arbiter Greg Gibson who is beginning his 20th season in the bigs. The Ohio native provided a boon for home team and 'under' bettors in 2015, 19 of his 30 plate assignments ending in a victory for the home side (14-7 when favored) and 17 contests finishing short of the total with two more pushing the number.

It should be chilly once again with a first pitch temp in the mid-to-upper 30s compounded by south winds in the 15-20 mph range (right to left). Check before making a wager since the wind could swing to the SE or SW to make a huge difference. I'm going against the juice with my MLB pick and play on the 'under,' watching to see if it goes 7½ or higher.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7 (+110)
Best Line Offered: at Bovada


April 5th
Astros vs. Yankees Game 1

By: Willie Bee



Now that we have all had our appetizer, it's time for the main course. All those three MLB games on Sunday did was whet our appetite for more baseball, though we won't really get a full plate until this Saturday when all 30 teams are in action together for the first time.

Still, could there be a better way to spend Opening Day than in the Bronx watching a young and rising Houston Astros squad take on the New York Yankees? Well, maybe, but we'll get to the only downside to today's season opener for both teams in a bit.

Houston and New York are slated to get underway at 1 PM (ET) in the House That George Built, ESPN broadcasting the affair. On a day of firsts for 24 teams seeing their first action of 2016, Monday's clash marks the first time since 2010 that the Yankees have not been favored in Game 1 of 162. The MLB odds opened with Houston -120, overnight wagering pushing the moneyline to around -130 at most sports books. 5Dimes has 7 for the total, and favoring the 'under' with the Astros +140 on a -1½ run line and the Yanks -150 if you want extra insurance.


'16 Begins Where '15 Ended For Yankees
If today's mound duel looks familiar, give yourself a gold star since it's the same two pitchers who were on the hill in the Bronx last October to begin the American League playoffs. The Astros traveled to the Bronx for that AL Wild Card game and had Dallas Keuchel face off against New York's Masahiro Tanaka.

Keuchel tossed the first six innings of a 3-0 Houston win before the eventual AL Cy Young Award winner turned it over to his bullpen for the final three frames. Tanaka allowed two of the Astros' three runs in his five innings of work to take the loss.

That was just one of three wins Keuchel picked up against New York in 2015, the southpaw totaling 22 innings against the Yankees in 2015 while allowing nary a run. He also added 28 strikeouts in those 22 frames vs. just one walk and is coming off a spring that saw the former Razorback work 17 scoreless innings over four appearances, whiffing 16 against two free passes. Tanaka saw Houston's lineup twice in 2015, including that playoffs game, and the Yanks lost both times with the righthander surrendering eight runs in 10 combined innings.

New York holds a solid 18-11 all-time advantage over the Astros, though that dominance has been subsiding the last couple of seasons. Houston took five of seven matchups in 2015, counting the playoff contest, and is 5-2 in New York the last two campaigns.


This Game Was Meant To Be Played Yesterday
Houston arrived a year early according to many who didn't think the Astros would compete for the AL playoffs until this season. Now, they're the chic pick to capture the pennant and head to the World Series where, if the consensus proves correct, the Astros would meet one of their old NL Central rivals, the Chicago Cubs who are being lauded as the team to beat in 2016.

All 10 of Houston's wins over New York since joining the AL in 2013 have covered the run line, and that's just how I'm going to roll with my free MLB pick this afternoon.

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Free MLB Pick:  Astros -1½ +130
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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