Sunday Night MLB Prediction, Houston Astros at New York Yankees
The Sunday night ESPN game this week between the Astros and Yankees could be one of the most-watched and most-wagered of the 2017 MLB season. Not just because it’s potential playoff preview but also because the Yankees will retire the No. 2 of former shortstop and captain Derek Jeter. The two teams will face each other on Friday, and while the MLB betting odds aren’t up yet for Saturday’s game, the Yankees are likely to be favored by a slight margin.
Astros at Yankees MLB Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, May 17, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York
Probable pitchers (away/home): Charlie Morton/Masahiro Tanaka
Radio: MLB Radio
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet On Houston?
The Astros look like they will win the AL West going away. They won 84 games in 2016 and finished in third place, 11 games out and also missed out on a wild card spot after a tough finish to the season. They entered 2017 with a lineup that was about as guaranteed to mash as any in baseball, but with questions up and down their entire rotation. The top of the rotation has managed to turn things around. the pitching staff leads the AL in ERA (3.42), strikeouts (327) and in opponent batting average (.227).
Offensively, the Astros entered this series leading the AL in hits (316), ranking second in batting average (.274) and third in runs scored (165). The Astros lead the AL in batting average with RISP at .307 (87×283). Individually, 3B Alex Bregman (.429, 12×28) ranks third in the AL in batting average with RISP, while C Evan Gattis (.400, 10×25) ranks tied for fifth. The Astros (+40) rank second in the AL in run differential, trailing only New York (+56). Houston has posted a +34 run differential in the 7th inning or later, including a +24 differential in the 7th.
It’s Charlie Morton on the mound here. Morton was steady in his last start, allowing just one earned run over 5 2/3 innings to pick up a win vs. Atlanta. But he walked a season-high four batters, including a bases-loaded walk to score a run, and was promptly pulled after just 84 pitches. Morton pitched five scoreless innings before a Carlos Correa error opened the door for a three-run sixth inning. Fortunately, Morton had six runs to work by that point. He has a 3.63 ERA and a 44/14 K/BB ratio over 39 2/3 innings through his seven starts.
Why Bet On NY Yankees?
You can bet the Yankees players will want to win this game for Jeter as he has his iconic No. 2 retired before the game. He will be the 22nd player to have his number retired by the team. With Jeter’s number retired, all single digit numbers will be retired by the Yankees.
Jeter played all 20 of his major league seasons in a Yankee uniform and collected franchise-record 3,465 hits, which also ranks No. 6 all-time in MLB history. He also amassed 1,311 RBIs and 260 home runs while making 14 All-Star teams. Jeter won five World Series.
Jeter actually didn’t want No. 2 at first. The Captain was more interested in 13, the number his father, Charles, wore while he was a shortstop at Fisk University. When Jeter arrived in the Bronx in 1995, catcher Jim Leyritz wore No. 13. Jeter took No. 2 and wore it when he won his first title in 1996. But when he came to camp in 1997, he was handed No. 17. But then Jeter decided he wanted No. 2.
The Yankees will become the fifth team to retire the No. 2. The Dodgers (Tommy Lasorda), the White Sox (Nellie Fox), the Cardinals (Red Schoendienst) and the Tigers (Charlie Gehringer) have already taken the number out of circulation. There are currently 21 players on 40-man rosters in MLB wearing No. 2.
New York has had one of the best bullpens in the majors this season and potentially added to it Thursday by recalling RHP Giovanny Gallegos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Gallegos posted outstanding numbers last season between Double-A and Triple-A, and that has continued for the most part in 2017 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
It’s ace Masahiro Tanaka (5-1, 4.36) for the Yankees. Tanaka allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits (one home run) while walking one and striking out six over seven innings to help beat the Reds 10-4 on Monday. Tanaka’s performance was badly needed after the Yanks went 18 innings in Sunday night’s marathon with the Cubs. It was his fifth straight victory, and he’s allowed just one free pass over his last three starts.
The Japanese right-hander now has a 4.36 ERA and sparkling 2.3 BB/9. His 6.4 K/9 leaves a lot to be desired, but he’s steadied the ship after getting blasted for 10 runs in his first 7.2 innings of the season.
Expert Prediction: NY Yankees
New York wins one for the Captain on an emotional night.