Game 2 odds unavailable at the time of writing.
Thursday, July 21, game 1: 1:10 p.m. ET, game 2: 6:40 p.m. ET. On YES Network in New York, and AT&T Sportsnet Southwest in Houston.
The unofficial second half of the MLB season kicks off on Thursday with a highly anticipated doubleheader featuring the top two teams in the American League, as the Houston Astros play host to the New York Yankees.
The Yankees sport a major league-leading 64-28 record but entered this week’s MLB All-Star Break in a slump that has produced just three wins in 10 contests. The Astros currently own an impressive 9-game lead over second-place Seattle atop the AL West standings, but sporadic offensive production has contributed to the ordinary 6-5 run they take into Thursday’s action.
|New York Yankees||+1.5 (-175)||O7.5 (-105)||+115|
|Houston Astros||-1.5 (+150)||U7.5 (-115)||-135|
Odds from DraftKings - July 21, 2022
Thursday’s matchups at Minute Maid Park make up for games that were postponed in early April and mark the final two regular season clashes between these AL powerhouses.
The Astros posted a 2-1 victory in their only previous home date of the season with the Bronx Bombers, and have earned the win in three of their five overall head-to-head tilts in 2022. The Astros hold the edge when facing New York on home turf, earning the win in nine of their past 15 regular season contests.
And while these clubs have combined to score a whopping 900 total runs so far this season, their recent meetings have tended to be low scoring. Five of their past eight meetings, including three of their past four at Minute Maid Park, have produced four or fewer total runs. That has fueled a steady 6-3-1 run for the UNDER in totals betting. It'll be no surprise that the odds for either team to record an NRFI (No runs in the first innings) are essentially a 50:50 call, their record certainly reflects this pick.
The Yankees surpassed already high expectations with a sensational performance during the first half of the season. In addition to compiling a massive 13-game lead atop the AL East standings, the Yankees have also racked up an MLB-leading 5.40 runs per game. The New York pitching staff has also produced, tallying a team ERA of 3.08, which trails only the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Astros.
However, success does have its cost. With five players on the AL All-Star Game roster, the Yankees enjoyed limited rest during this week’s break. Injuries also remain a concern for New York, which lost pitcher Luis Severino to a back injury just before the break that will sideline him until next month. Reliever Miguel Castro and catcher Ben Rortvedt are also currently on the shelf. On a positive note, outfielder Aaron Judge has lit up opposing hurlers with an MLB-leading 33 home runs (making him a contender in the MLB MVP race). However, Judge has been silent at the plate versus Houston, going just 3-for-21 so far this season.
While the Yankees were lighting up the scoreboard, the Astros entered the All-Star Break looking for answers to an uneven offensive attack that has produced an average of just 2.6 runs per game over their past five contests. While Houston’s struggles at the plate have generated a boon for UNDER bettors, who have cashed tickets in seven of the Astros’ past nine contests, it remains an urgent concern ahead of Thursday’s doubleheader with the Yankees and a subsequent three-game trip to Seattle.
Complicating matters for the Astros has been the absence of Yordan Alvarez. The talented young outfielder leads the club with 26 home runs and a .306 average but entered the All-Star Break sidelined by a hand injury. Alvarez has reportedly returned to the batting cage and is eligible to return to the lineup on Thursday. However, there is no guarantee he will see action in either half of the doubleheader. Fortunately, Astros pitchers rose to the occasion as the first half of the season came to a close, limiting opponents to three or fewer runs in three of their past four contests. Justin Verlander is one of those who is in contention with AL Cy Young odds of +260.