Get ready for an intense four days in the Bronx as the Houston Astros travel north to take on the New York Yankees beginning Thursday, June 23. While the Yankees still have a commanding eight-game lead in the American League, the Yankees vs. Astros odds are close.
On everyone’s mind? This series could be a preview of the AL Championship Series.
The Yankees have eight more wins than the Astros, but the Astros are still a formidable foe this year, with a strong record on the road. The Yankees are holding onto a stunning 51-18 record while the Astros are second in the AL at 43-25. The next closest team in the AL is the Blue Jays with 39-30.
For the Yankees, it’s good to be back in Yankee Stadium after a week on the road where they went 4-2, losing one game each to the Blue Jays and the Rays.
The Astros are coming off back-to-back series at home against the White Sox and the Mets. They went 4-1, shutting out the other New York team — the NY Mets — in a brief two-game series.
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Probable Pitching Matchups for Yankees vs. Astros
- Thursday, June 23, 7:05 p.m. ET — Jameson Taillon (8-1) vs. Framber Valdez (7-3)
- Taillon last started against the Blue Jays on Saturday and helped the team get a 4-0 win. He threw nearly six scoreless innings, struck out eight, and only allowed four hits and two walks. His stats this season are strong, with a 2.70 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts.
- Friday, June 24, 7:05 p.m. ET — Luis Severino (4-1) vs. Justin Verlander (8-3)
- Severino was on the Covid-19 list last week but rejoined the team for its run in Toronto. He’s had some strong starts this season, particularly three weeks ago against the Tigers, but has had a slow return since last week. We hope to see him back to his sharpest form against the Astros. Severino has an ERA of 3.27, a WHIP of 1.06, and 80 strikeouts this season.
- Saturday, June 25, 1:05 p.m. ET — Gerrit Cole (6-1) vs. Cristian Javier (4-3)
- The big news about Cole this week is his near no-hitter Monday night. Cole pitched seven innings before a single hit in the eights by Isaac Paredes. Monday’s game was his second time going deep with a no-hitter this season. It’s probably too much to hope for again, but we’re excited to see what he can do. This season, Cole has posted an ERA of 3.14, a WHIP of 1.02, and 103 strikeouts.
- Sunday, June 26, 1:35 p.m. ET — Nestor Cortes (6-3) vs. Jose Urquidy (6-3)
- Cortes is coming off a disappointing showing against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. Cortes has been carrying a lot of the starting load this season. The exhaustion seemed to show on Tuesday as he lasted just 4 1/3 innings and gave up three homers and four runs. But let’s not forget his strong season stats: 2.31 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 78 strikeouts.
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Injury Updates for the New York Yankees
The Yankees are seeing progress in a few key players’ recoveries this week. On Wednesday, starting pitcher Domingo German nailed a rehab assignment going three scoreless innings with single-A Tampa. Looking forward to this weekend, Aroldis Chapman will play a rehab game with double-A Somerset. Zack Britton and Jonathan Loaisiga are also trending in the right direction, with a bullpen session scheduled this week.
Player Props for Yankees vs. Astros
Judge is coming off a record-setting game last night, hitting two homers and joining Babe Ruth as the only Yankee with six multiple home run games in the first 70 games of a season. He also leads the MLB in homers at 27. Judge is looking great this year, with a batting average of .302 and 52 RBIs.
Taillon (8-1) is tied for the most wins in the majors this season and has been showing solid starts this month. He has the eighth-best ERA in the AL at 2.70.
Rizzo looks good this season, including a grand slam against the Blue Jays last Friday. He’s posting a better batting average than his career total, at .231 this season, and has 49 RBIs and 19 home runs.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II