MLB Pick: Houston Astros, New York Yankees ‘under’ 9

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The Yankees are hanging in the division with pitching, and they just lost another bat in Kevin Youkilis. Southpaw Erik Bedard of the Astros is facing a Yankee team hitting .211 vs. lefties.

Although one starting pitcher is not a household name and the other one is off to a bad start in his first year with a new team, the ‘under’ has sneaky value Wednesday night when Erik Bedard and the Houston Astros (8-19, 4-11 away) pay a visit to David Phelps and the New York Yankees (16-10, 10-5 home) as the two teams wrap up a three-game series from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY at 7:05 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -116.

These teams have split the first two games of this series with the lowly Astros stunning Andy Pettitte and the Yanks 9-1 in the series opener on Monday but the Yankees coming back to take the middle game 7-4 behind Hiroki Kuroda in Tuesday, setting up tonight’s rubber match.

The Yankees may be affectionately known as the Bronx Bombers, but they have been anything but this season, especially vs. left-handed pitching. Then again, that is understandable with superstars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira all on the Disabled list, and New York lost yet another bat yesterday with Kevin Youkilis also placed on the DL with a lumbar spine sprain.

In spite of all that, the Yankees are in second place in the American League East and only two games behind the Boston Red Sox, and the reason has been the pitching. Granted, Phelps will be making his first start of the year tonight in place of the disabled Ivan Nova, but he picked up the win by allowing one run on two hits in four innings of relief vs. the Toronto Blue Jays Friday and he was very serviceable when pressed into starting duty last season.

Phelps made 11 starts in 2012 and he did yeoman’s work by allowing three runs or less in nine of them. While he has a 5.29 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 17.0 relief innings thus far, his “stuff” has been just fine with 22 strikeouts (11.65 strikeouts per nine innings) against eight walks, and his strong four-inning stint Friday bodes well for his chances of helping the Yankees build on a nice stretch that has seen their pitching staff allow four runs or less in seven of the last eight games.

Now, Bedard has had his struggles in his first season with the Astros while going 0-2 with a bloated 7.98 ERA over 14.2 innings, but that is a limited sampling and his deceptive throwing motion used to give the Yankees fits during his days in the American League East with the Baltimore Orioles.

Perhaps most importantly though, the veteran southpaw now gets a chance to regain his form vs. a Yankee lineup that is batting a woeful .211 vs. left-handed pitchers this season, and losing another right-handed bat in Youkilis certainly does not help matters.

Thus, look for this contest to stay in the single-digits and go ‘under’ in the Bronx on Wednesday.

[gameodds]3/225913/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Astros, Yankees ‘under’ 9 (-116)