N.Y. Yankees vs Houston Astros Game 7 - Free Picks

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:35 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 3:35 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, was on the winning side in Game 6 of the ALCS. Game 7 brings us the same pitching matchup as Game 3 - and the same MLB Pick of the Day.

Free MLB Picks: Astros -126Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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N.Y. Yankees vs Houston Astros  

We won again last night as the Houston Astros were able to continue the New York Yankees road woes to force a decisive Game 7 tonight for the chance to go to the World Series. Game 7 will be a rematch of Game 3 with the starters being Charlie Morton for Houston and CC Sabathia for New York. However, the line has switched from the Yankees being favored by -135 to being a +120 underdog. The Astros can be found on the moneyline for this game at -125 at multiple books. The total sits at 8 across the board.

In my breakdown of Game 3 of this series, I discussed many favorable things for Charlie Morton in the matchup. He had an excellent K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 rate in the second half of the season and an elite FIP in August and September. He also pitches well under pressure and improves with men in scoring position. He summarily went out in that game and got destroyed by the New York Yankees offense. Or did he?

In this timely piece about Morton on Fangraphs by Travis Sawchik, he describes just how Morton gave up the line of seven earned runs over just 3.2 innings pitched. It was one of the unluckiest performances in baseball this season or postseason history. Park factor home runs and poorly hit seeing-eye ground balls abound. There were more specifics in the article about just how unlucky Morton was in those 3.2 innings, but I can summarize that our analysis of him for Game 3 was correct.

We now get CC Sabathia on the road and a new split to analyze for this game. It’s not as good as Morton’s in any way. I discussed his 24.0% HR/FB rate over the second half of the season in the Game 3 matchup, and now we get to bring up a subpar 4.43 FIP and 17.0% HR/FB rate on the road this year. Sabathia won Game 3 by pitching six games of shutout baseball but also had his pitch count relatively high as he walked 4 batters in the game.

And then there is the road split for the Yankees, who has bit them all year long as they find themselves 41-46 on the season in that situation. Houston is now 53-33 at home this year after winning Game 6. Another setup I like here for Houston is that once again Justin Verlander has given most of his bullpen a night to rest, while the Yankees used 3 relievers last night. I’ll take Houston again on the moneyline in a Morton-Sabathia matchup and trust that the overall numbers will straighten themselves out in Game 7.

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