Yankees Look for 10th Straight Win in ALCS Rematch at Astros

Monday, April 30, 2018 11:23 AM UTC

Monday, Apr. 30, 2018 11:23 AM UTC

The streaking New York Yankees visit the Houston Astros to begin a 4-game series Monday, and we have a free baseball pick for the 2017 ALCS rematch.

NY Yankees (18-9 SU, 17-9-1 O/U) at Houston Astros (19-10 SU, 12-15-2 O/U)Free MLB Pick: YankeesBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Home-field advantage was a huge factor the last time we saw the Yankees and Astros, Houston taking all four in the Bayou City during the 2017 ALCS while New York won all three in the Bronx. AJ Hinch and his Astros hope the same magic works this week when a red-hot Yankees club that just won its 9th straight visits for a 4-game set.

The series gets underway Monday with an 8:10 PM (ET) first pitch at Minute Maid Park, the contest not getting any national TV love. Sonny Gray (1-1, 7.71) is up next in Aaron Boone’s rotation, while Houston turns to Charlie Morton (3-0, 1.86). Bookmaker has the Astros -150 with a 9-run total that favors the ‘under.’

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Jose Altuve gets the silent treatment in the dugout after a home run and decides to have some fun.

He's the best pic.twitter.com/4YhfEKLt5l

— Ben Palmer (@benjpalmer) April 25, 2018

Stanton Has Owned Morton in the Past

Gray has completed five innings just once in five starts, and a 19:16 K/BB rate has been a huge problem for the right-hander. Three of the outings went into New York’s loss column, including both road assignments. The former Vanderbilt star made three starts in Houston while a member of the Athletics, and Oakland lost all three while Gray pitched to a 5.18 ERA. Jose Altuve is 11-for-30 against Gray with Brian McCann 4-for-12 (1 HR).

Morton is coming off his worst start of 2018, the Angels coaxing five walks and scoring four times before chasing him after four innings last Tuesday as -140 chalk on the MLB odds. New York pummeled him in Game 3 of the ALCS last fall, pushing seven across the plate to send Morton to an early shower in the fourth, but he came back to toss five scoreless innings and get the win in the decisive Game 7, a 4-0 Astros decision. Giancarlo Stanton should be licking his chops, collecting nine hits in 18 career at bats vs. Morton, one of them leaving the yard.

Series Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Three of the four games in Houston last October stayed ‘under’ the marks, the lone ‘over’ winner a 7-1 Astros win in Game 6 that just scraped above a 7½-run line. That was a direct contradiction to the three regular-season matches that all skipped past totals in the 8-9 range. Houston won two of those, and 3 of 4 earlier in New York, but it’s the Yankees who still hold a 27-12 lead in the rivalry, including eight playoff matchups.

While their big boppers get the headlines, pitching has fueled the Yankees during the current string of dubyas with New York hurlers limiting opponents to 18 runs. Gray hasn’t shown much all year, but my free baseball pick won’t dare mess with a 9-game win streak.

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