Pick Yankees -110 in Tonight's Rubber Match Against Astros

Willie Bee

Thursday, April 7, 2016 3:22 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 7, 2016 3:22 PM GMT

Both lineups enjoyed big games on Wednesday as New York evened the series with Houston. Now the Yankees are MLB odds favorites to make it two in a row today.

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

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