While chaos reigned in the National League–seeing the elimination of three 100-win teams in the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and Los Angeles Dodgers all before the League Championship Series round–chalk reigned supreme in the American League.

After a 5-1 Game 5 win that saw the New York Yankees jump out to a big lead early and keep the Cleveland Guardians’ bats quiet on Tuesday, the Bronx Bombers head to Texas to face the Houston Astros in the ALCS for the third time in six seasons. Houston won both of those series. In 2017, the Astros won in seven games in 2017. In 2019, Jose Altuve hit a walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman to end the series in Game 6.

Will Rest Help Houston Against Travel-Weary Yankees?

The Houston Astros had more drama than you would’ve expected in their ALDS sweep of the Seattle Mariners, as they had to erase a 7-3 hole by scoring five times in the eighth and ninth innings, punctuated by this walk-off home run by Yordan Alvarez.

After another Alvarez home run led to a 4-2 win in Game 2, Game 3 in Seattle set an MLB postseason record of 17 scoreless innings before rookie Jeremy Pena broke the tie.

It led to a 1-0 victory in 18 innings, tying the mark for the longest postseason game in MLB history. It also gave Houston Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off before opening up the ALCS against New York on Wednesday night.

The Yankees, endured two rainouts in the ALDS over Cleveland. As a result, they played Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and again Tuesday before heading to Texas late Tuesday to play this evening.

Houston Won Regular-Season Series, 5-2

In the regular season, the Astros held serve at home, winning all three games against the Bronx Bombers at Minute Maid Park.

In New York, the Yankees split a four-game series in July with two walk-off hits by Aaron Judge. In the first game of the series, the Yankees entered the ninth inning down 6-3. Aaron Hicks then homered off closer Ryan Pressly to tie the game, and Judge delivered a game-winning single off Ryne Stanek to win it.

After the Astros flirted with no-hitters on back-to-back days in 3-0 and 3-1 wins, the Yankees were back to their late-inning heroics in the final game of the series. Judge broke a 3-3 tie in the 10th inning with a 417-foot blast for the win.

Astros Are Favored to Reach the World Series

Overall, Houston is favored to reach the World Series for the fourth time in six years. Here are the series prices via FanDuel.

TEAMODDS TO WIN ALCSODDS TO WIN GAME 1
New York Yankees+145+152
Houston Astros-170-180

Playing in New York’s favor tonight, however, has been Justin Verlander’s recent postseason struggles. The likely AL Cy Young Award winner this year hasn’t won in his last six playoff starts and allowed six runs in four innings pitched against Seattle last Tuesday. Verlander pitched once against the Yankees in 2022. That was a seven-inning effort where he allowed four hits and a run in a 3-1 Astros victory.

But given Verlander’s playoff struggles as of late, the Yankees’ series price is at good value at the moment.

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