Astros vs. Yankees: Four things to know, prediction, how to watch as AL powerhouses meet in New York

Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros will revive their competition with the very first of 4 video games in the Bronx. The Yankees have baseball’s finest record (by a lot) and the Astros have the American League’s 2nd finest record (by a lot). These have actually been the Junior Circuit’s 2 finest groups by an excellent margin up until now in 2022.

“I think it’s always fun to compete against the best,” Astros 3rd baseman Alex Bregman informed MLB.com on Wednesday. “I think everybody looks forward to playing against the best and competing against the best. Of course, everyone is going to be really excited.”  

Here are the American League standings since Thursday early morning:

  1. New York Yankees: 51-18
  2. Houston Astros: 43-24 (7 GB)
  3. Toronto Blue Jays: 39-30 (11.5 GB)
  4. Cleveland Guardians: 36-28 (11.5 GB)
  5. Boston Red Sox: 39-31 (12 GB)

Only the New York Mets (45-26) have a much better record than the Astros amongst National League groups — the Astros simply swept 2 video games from the Mets in Houston — so this series includes 2 of the 3 finest groups in baseball. The Yankees and Astros aren’t complete strangers, though Houston has actually had New York’s number in current postseasons. The environment in The Bronx figures to be extreme.

“I don’t get that caught up in it,” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone informed the New York Post on Wednesday. “It’s a team we have a rivalry with. You appreciate being involved in a series like that. I don’t think I put any more into it. It’s not October. They’re important games against a great opponent and I hope we play well.”  

Here are the information for the four-game series at Yankee Stadium. Games on MLB Network can be streamed on fuboTV (shot for totally free).  

Thurs., June 23

7:05 p.m. ET

LHP Framber Valdez (7-3, 2.78 PERIOD) vs. RHP Jameson Taillon (8-1, 2.70 PERIOD)

YES Network, AT&T SportsNet SW, MLB Network

Fri., June 24

7:05 p.m. ET

RHP Justin Verlander (8-3, 2.30 PERIOD) vs. RHP Luis Severino (4-1, 3.27 PERIOD)

Amazon Prime Video, AT&T SportsNet SW

Sat., June 25

1:05 p.m. ET

RHP Cristian Javier (4-3, 3.07 PERIOD) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (6-1, 3.14 PERIOD)

YES Network, AT&T SportsNet SW, MLB Network  

Sun., June 26

1:35 p.m. ET

RHP José Urquidy (4-6, 4.63 PERIOD) vs. LHP Nestor Cortes (6-3, 2.31 PERIOD)

YES Network, AT&T SportsNet SW, MLB Network  

We were so, so near to a Cole vs. Verlander match. The 2 previous colleagues were lined up to deal with each other at one point, however Severino’s current stint on the COVID list required the Yankees to shuffle their rotation, so Cole and Verlander no longer line up to pitch the exact same day. Too bad. That would’ve been among the very best on-paper pitching matches of the season.

Here are 4 things to understand heading into this weekend’s series, with a forecast included for excellent step.

These groups have history

A great deal of it. The Astros removed the Yankees in the 2015 Wild Card Game, the 2017 ALCS, and the 2019 ALCS. The Yankees have had the upper hand in the routine season (12-8 versus the Astros because 2018), however nobody truly appreciates that. October is the only thing that matters and this competition has actually been one-sided in the postseason.

Along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees have actually been the most outspoken group versus Houston’s sign-stealing scandal, with GM Brian Cashman reaching to state it was the “only thing that stopped” the Yankees from winning the 2017 World Series. That’s a stretch, however the point stays: the Yankees are not delighted about the scandal and aren’t shy about letting everybody understand it.

And neither are Yankees fans, naturally. When the Astros played in Yankee Stadium in 2015 — it was their very first see to the Bronx because 2019, prior to the sign-stealing scandal broke — they were booed vociferously. Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa heard the loudest boos (George Springer hears recurring boos when he checks out with the Blue Jays).

Of course, the Yankees themselves utilized video replay devices to take indications from 2015-16, though not in real-time and it was prior to MLB provided a memo notifying groups sign taking would be consulted with extreme charges. The Yankees aren’t precisely innocent onlookers. In completion, there is no love lost with these 2 franchises. It will be an eventful series.

Both groups stand out at run avoidance

Expecting a high-scoring series? You may be dissatisfied. The Astros and Yankees are 2 of the best run avoidance groups in baseball this season. They are pitching-first groups regardless of their credibilities as offending powerhouses. Here’s where the Astros and Yankees ranked in numerous run avoidance steps heading into Wednesday’s action:

Runs permitted per video game

3.43 (3rd in MLB)

3.00 (1st in MLB)

PERIOD

3.03 (3rd)

2.88 (1st)

PERIOD+

126 (3rd)

133 (second)

Strikeout rate

23.2% (11th)

25.3% (1st)

K/BB ratio

3.05 (7th)

3.68 (1st)

Opponent’s OPS

.632 (3rd)

.611 (1st)

Pitching WAR

8.7 (sixth)

11.4 (1st)

Defensive runs conserved

25 (9th)

42 (second)

You can likewise dig much deeper and take a look at things like chase rate (Yankees are initially, Astros seventh), swinging strike rate (Yankees are initially, Astros 8th) and challenger’s barrel rate (Yankees are initially, Astros 5th). Anything you can do to avoid runs, these 2 groups are proficient at it. The Astros and Yankees smother their challengers on a nighttime basis.

The most significant distinction in between these 2 groups is offense. The Yankees didn’t end up being the seventh fastest group to 50 wins in baseball history simply by pitching well. They likewise lead MLB in runs scored per video game (5.12) and OPS+ (121), and rank near the top of the league is most offending stats. The Yankees have baseball’s finest record since they do whatever well.

The Astros, on the other hand, are balancing just 4.31 runs scored per video game, which ranks 17th in baseball and is a tick listed below the MLB average of 4.33. There’s an offending detach in Houston since the Astros have actually struck the 3rd most homers (90) and have the 4th finest group OPS+ (111), yet they’re 17th in runs per video game. Sequencing matters and they’re not constantly getting that success.

Given the names on the lineup, I would not dismiss the Astros as some league typical offending group. They’ll mess up a pitcher’s day genuine fast if he’s not mindful. Both the Yankees and Astros are run avoidance juggernauts. They make you work for every run. Does that imply we’re heading for a low-scoring series? Sure, it’s possible, however the baseball gods like to play techniques on us.

Who’s hot, who’s not?

The 162-game season is long and unforgiving, and every gamer goes through ups and downs. As such, some gamers will head into this weekend’s series on a hot streak. Here are 3 Yankees gamers who have actually been squashing the ball the last 2 weeks:

Hicks’ numbers the last 2 weeks are simply OK, though he’s gotten a number of success recently, consisting of a consent bases-clearing double Saturday and a consent ninth inning triple Monday. He and Joey Gallo were simply awful in April and May, however both have actually selected it up in June and remain in the middle of their finest stretches of the season.

Noticeably missing: Aaron Judge. MLB’s crowning achievement leader is 6 for 33 (.182) in his last 9 video games, though he did squash 2 crowning achievement Wednesday. Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton have yet to discover their stride because coming off the injury list previously this month. Donaldson is 13 for 59 (.220) because returning. Stanton is 6 for 49 (.122).

Now here are 3 Astros gamers who have actually been hot these last 2 weeks:

Alvarez is an outright beast and I’d argue the video game’s finest player. Going into Wednesday, he led baseball in OPS (1.037) and OPS+ (195), and he’s doing that with an easily much better than typical strikeout (15.5 percent) and swinging strike (8.2 percent). Alvarez, the owner of a brand name brand-new $115 million extension, struck 3 homers in 2 video games versus the Mets previously today.

Nearly every Houston routine has an above-average OPS the last 2 weeks. The just problem areas are shortstop, where Aledmys Díaz and Mauricio Dubón are substituting the hurt Jeremy Peña, and center field, where Chas McCormick and Jose Siri have actually underwhelmed much of the season. By and big, the Astros are heading to New York swinging the bats well.

They’ll see each other once again next week

After this four-game series in New York, the Astros and Yankees will fulfill versus next week in Houston, however just for a single video game. These 2 clubs were initially arranged to play a three-game series at Minute Maid Park from April 4-6. That’s among the series that was eliminated by the owners’ lockout, and like all those video games, the makeup dates are sprayed throughout the season.

To comprise those 3 Houston video games, the Astros and Yankees will play the one video game next Thursday, June 30, then they’ll play a doubleheader on Thursday, July 21. That was expected to be the last day of the four-day All-Star break. Instead, the 2 groups lost a day of rest their All-Star break and now need to play a doubleheader rather. Rough, however they’re not the only groups doing it.

Prediction!

A four-game series enables me to take the simple escape and state these 2 great groups will divide the 4 video games, however no, I’ll be a little vibrant and state the Yankees win 3 of 4. New York has actually been so insanely excellent that 12 of their 18 losses have actually been by no greater than 2 runs. They are hardly ever out of a video game. The Astros are outstanding however the Yankees are much better, and I have the house group taking the series this weekend.



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