Houston Astros (2-0; 0-2 O/U) vs. New York Yankees (0-2; 0-2 O/U)
MLB: ALCS Game Three: Monday, October 16, 2017 at 8:00pm EST
Line: New York -125/Houston +115
The New York Yankees will look to avoid going down 3-0 when they host the Houston Astros in game three of the ALCS Monday night from Yankee Stadium. The Astros will send 33-year old right-hander Charlie Morton to the mound, and the Yankees will counter with 37-year old left-hander CC Sabathia. The Astros edged the Yankees in game two by a 2-1 score to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Sabathia K’s Nine Batters in Game Five of ALDS
CC Sabathia will make his third start of the playoffs, aiming for his first win. Sabathia was solid in game five against the Indians, allowing two runs in 4.1 innings and struck out nine batters. The 6-foot-6 veteran left-hander has now allowed six runs (four earned) in 9.2 innings of playoff baseball this year and features a 4.46 ERA in 117 career innings of playoff action. He did not face Houston this season, and limited the Astros to two runs in 6.2 innings and got the win in his lone start against them last season. Sabathia owns 2-1 record with a 4.15 ERA in three career starts against the Astros. Josh Reddick is 2 for 19 against Sabathia, while Marwin Gonzalez is 1 for 3 with one RBI, and Jose Altuve is 2 for 6 with two RBI’s.
Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro has done big damage against Astros starter Charlie Morton throughout his career, recording a hit in 12 of 30 at bats with three home runs and nine RBI’s. The 27-year old has yet to get going in this Postseason, hitting only .242 with one RBI through eight games, and is 2 for 7 with zero RBI’s in this series. The combination of Judge, Gregorius, and Sanchez only went 1 for 12 with four strikeouts against Verlander in game two. The Yankees will need the middle of their order to come up with some big hits against Morton in game three.
Morton Takes Mound for Second Start of Playoffs
Charlie Morton will get the nod for the second time of the playoffs, targeting his first career Postseason victory. Morton made the start in game four of the ALDS and he was not sharp, conceding two runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings, and finished with the no-decision. The veteran right-hander made his lone start against the Yankees this season on the road back in May and allowed four runs in 5.2 innings, and notched the win in a game Houston took by a 10-7 score. He has now conceded eight runs in 12.2 career innings against New York. Morton had a career-year this season, posting a 3.62 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP accompanied with a 14-7 record in 25 starts.
Watch for Yuli Gurriel in this contest as he feasted on the Yankees pitching in the regular season, going 9 for 22 with two homers and seven RBI’s, and is 2 for 5 with one RBI through two games in this series. The 33-year old first baseman is quietly having an outstanding Postseason, notching a hit in 11 of 22 at-bats, and has collected a hit in each of the Astros six playoff games. Carlos Correa delivered the game-winning hit in game two and has now recorded three hits with a team-best three RBI’s through the first two games of this series.
The Houston Astros are:
- No Key Trends
The New York Yankees are:
- 5-1 in Sabathia’s last 6 starts.
- 13-3 in Sabathia’s last 16 home starts.
- 19-7 in their last 26 home games.
- 20-7 in their last 27 Monday games.
I am taking the Yankees in this contest. I expect the Yankees to get to Morton who was shaky in his start in the ALDS, as he was fortunate to only allow two runs in his 4.1 inning effort. Morton has served up a total of eight runs in 12.2 career innings against the Yankees, and I expect them to find their offense in their home ball park. Furthermore, Sabathia was solid in his two ALDS starts, striking out nine hitters in 4.1 innings in game five, and although he did allow two runs, he was sharp. Many of the Yankees hitters feature strong numbers against Morton and I believe that will translate into a Yankees victory.
Pick: New York Yankees
Morton owns a subpar 4.17 ERA on the road this season, plus he did not pitch well in the ALDS, and Sabathia will give up a few against the Astros as well. The Yankees lineup is hitting a combined .327 against Morton, so I expect their bats to wake up, and the over is 8-3 in their last 11 home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600. Sabathia will likely give up at least a few runs against this potent Astros lineup as well, and the over is 6-0 in their last six games against a left-handed starter. I believe this contest will see some runs scored in a sharp contrast from the low scoring battles in the first two games.