Thanks to Bryce Harper and Juan Soto, we had another good day Wednesday in Best Bets on the NLCS side. On the ALCS, not so much. I only needed one more run (again, concerning the Yankees and betting the over in their games) and Yordan Alvarez didn't hit any props.
We'll try to ride the momentum from the NLCS and turn it into the good day here with Game 2 of the Yankees-Astros ALCS.
As always, lines are courtesy of Caesars.
Yankees-Astros, UNDER 7 runs (-110)
Maybe I've learned my lesson after missing so many "overs" in Yankees games. I also like the environment here for a low-scoring affair.
The Yankees so far this postseason are hitting .176/.264/.369. They've been heavily reliant on home runs with 11. Astros starter Framber Valdez only gave up 11 home runs despite leading the AL with 201 1/3 innings pitched in the regular season. Of those, only three came at Minute Maid Park in 86 1/3 innings. As for strikeouts, which have been a problem for the Yankees, he struck out 100 in those same innings home this year.
The Astros, by the way, are only hitting .220/.287/.434 in their own playoff tenure. They scored four runs in Game 1, but three of those were solo home runs and two of those came from the lower part of the order. Yankees starter Luis Severino has made four starts since returning from the injured list, during which he's given up six earned runs in 21 2/3 innings. He's struck out 23 in those starts and hasn't allowed a home run.
Also, the Yankees didn't use Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta or Clay Holmes in Game 1, so they have their pitching set up exactly how they want it for Game 2.
The Astros might only be down Rafael Montero after his 30 pitches, but he could be available again. Otherwise it's a full relief arsenal and they had the best bullpen ERA in the majors this season.
Josh Donaldson UNDER 0.5 hits (+123)
Donaldson hit .222 this season and is now 2 for 17 with nine strikeouts in his last five games. One of the hits was a grounder and the other was an infield hit. He looked totally lost in Game 1 and probably needs to be dropped in the order. He's 1 for 5 against Valdez in his career, if that matters. It's a small sample, but the unfamiliarity is generally an advantage for the pitcher.
Framber Valdez OVER 4.5 strikeouts (-188)
I was planning all along to take Valdez's strikeout prop, but these are steep odds.
He struck out more than five in 22 of his last 26 starts in the regular season and then struck out six in 5 2/3 innings in his previous playoff start. The Yankees stuck out 53 times in five games in the ALDS and then 17 times in Game 1. Valdez struck out seven in his one outing against the Yankees this year, too.
But with these odds, we have to be pretty sure, right? What if Valdez gets hit hard? What if he only goes five innings before Dusty Baker goes to the bullpen in a close game?
Hey, it's gambling. Screw it. We're going over. The Yankees will strike out at least five times against the Houston All-Star starter.