N.Y. Yankees vs Houston Astros - ALCS Game 6 Picks

Justin Verlander pitcher celebrating

Mark Lathrop

Friday, October 20, 2017 4:12 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 4:12 PM UTC

The Cubs didn't live up to their promise for a close game yesterday and lost their chance for a repeat trip to the World Series. The Astros hope to avoid the same fate as our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, makes his Friday MLB Pick.

Free MLB Pick: Astros -128Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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N.Y. Yankees vs Houston Astros  

If you are a believer in momentum, then the Yankees will win as an underdog in tonight’s American League Championship Series Game 6 against the Houston Astros. The Bronx Bombers swept their home part of the series to take a 3-2 lead coming into this game, as their pitching has held the Astros potent offense in check. The pitching matchup tonight is the same as in Game 2 where Luis Severino was outdueled by Justin Verlander, but it still took late-game heroics for the Astros to get over the top at a final score of 2-1.

The form in this series has followed season trends for the Yankees, as they have been unbelievable at home this year, but also carry a losing record on the road at 41-45 on the season. That split is offset by their performance against right-handed starters, which accounts for much of their winning margin above .500. The Astros, on the other hand, have been lights out at home with a 52-33 record and crush right-handers on the year to the tune of an 83-40 straight up record worth +25.2 units!

Severino only pitched 4 innings in that game, 62 pitches, and should be fresh for this start. After getting hit with a line drive on the last out of the 4th inning and was replaced “out of precaution” by manager Joe Girardi. That precaution seemed to have worked and he is fully available here. The other negative to come out of the game was giving up a dinger to Carlos Correa, who had both of Houston’s RBI’s in Game 2.  Severino’s season-long 50.6% groundball trend held as he had a perfect 50% ground ball rate in the game.

It was Justin Verlander who had one of the best games by a pitcher in postseason history though. He pitched a complete 13/1 K/BB rate gem in which he allowed just five hits and one earned run. His pitch count hit 124, with 93 of those pitches being strikes. Verlander has now won eight straight decisions and finished the last month of the regular season with an insane 8.60 K/BB ratio and .149 BAA allowed. He’s on top of his game at the moment.

Even with the momentum being in favor of the Yankees, I cannot get over the fact that they have a losing record on the road this year and will be going up against an elite pitcher in this situation. With those trends in place, the moneyline now favoring Houston by only -128 seems to have excellent value. I will be taking Houston to force a Game 7 tonight as my Friday MLB Picks.

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