Yankees vs Astros Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Yankees Bats Lack Post-ASG Pop

The Yankees' batting order has been relatively quiet of late and could be even more sluggish coming out of the All-Star break. As such, we're backing Cristian Javier to once again shut down the Yanks en route to a win — read more in our MLB betting picks.

Josh Inglis - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Josh Inglis • Betting Analyst
Jul 21, 2022 • 10:08 ET • 4 min read
Cristian Javier Houston Astros MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees will look to continue their historic season Thursday afternoon as they kick off a doubleheader with the American League’s second-best team in the Houston Astros at 1 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park. 

The Astros, however, have been the better team over the last 30 games and will be getting a huge boost to the lineup with Yordan Alvarez potentially rejoining Houston who opened as -125 favorites despite New York not posting a starting pitcher. 

Read our MLB betting picks and predictions to see where the best betting value lies.

Yankees vs Astros odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Astros opened as -125 favorites on the moneyline without any starting pitchers being listed with a total of 8. Houston has taken three of the five meetings this season and closed as +125 home favorites in their most recent meeting in Houston — a 2-1 victory over Luis Severino. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Yankees vs Astros predictions

Picks made on 7/21/2022 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Yankees vs Astros game info

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Date: Thursday, July 21, 2022
First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET

Yankees vs Astros betting preview

Starting pitchers

Jameson Taillon (10-2, 3.86 ERA): Taillon recovered from a tough stretch of baseball where he allowed 20 runs over a four-start stretch. He had a tidy six-inning outing versus the Red Sox in his last outing where he gave up two hits and a single run. Despite the rough patch, he still owns a respectable 3.86 ERA. The Astros did tag him for 10 hits and six runs last month, however.

Cristian Javier (6-5, 3.22 ERA): Javier is one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball with a strikeout rate of 35%. The last time he saw the Yankees, the Astros no-hit the Bombers as Javier went seven innings and punched out 13 while walking one. He has 44 strikeouts over his last 22 2-3 innings. He owns a 2.64 ERA at home this season across nine games and seven starts.


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Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 24-16-2 at home for the Astros on the season. Find more MLB betting trends for Yankees vs. Astros

Yankees vs Astros picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The All-Star break is in the rearview mirror and baseball fans will be getting some great ball out of the gates as the two best teams in the American League will kick off a doubleheader today at 1 p.m. ET.

Christian Javier will get the ball for the Astros while the Yankees haven't officially named a starter but Jameson Taillon is probable with Jordan Montgomery likely to go in the second game of the doubleheader.

Bettors might jump at taking baseball’s best team as a road underdog but there is plenty to like in the Astros today in what we think will be a low-scoring game.

The Yankees have the better offense and lead the league in runs/9, OPS, and home runs, but the All-Star break poses a tough task for the batters to get back on track and regain their timing. Their best hitter, Aaron Judge, is also coming off the ASG festivities and is hitting just .236 over the last 30 days. The Yankees have more to lose offensively thanks to the three-day break.

They’re also going to see Cristian Javier who has a 35% K%, the fourth-best mark in baseball. He has struck out double-digit batters in three of his last four starts which included a seven-inning dominant performance over the Yankees four weeks ago where the Houston starter didn’t allow a single hit and struck out 13 as the Astros combined to no-hit the Bombers.

Javier can have some abbreviated outings but he will turn things over to a rested bullpen that currently has the best ERA in all of baseball. The Yankees will face some elite arms today and could struggle to get the offense kick-started out of the break.

The Astros don’t need many runs to win games and have a 17-8 SU record in one-run games. They can rely on their pitching today but the lineup should get a huge boost with Yordan Alvarez potentially returning. There is an argument to be had that Alvarez is the team’s best hitter as he’s slashing .305/.405/.653 with 26 long balls. 

Houston is an average-hitting team but could go deep if Jameson Taillon does draw the start. Taillon has a 1.36 HR/9 and has given up six homers over his last three starts. The Astros took him deep twice in the last meeting back on June 23. 

It’s not often the Yankees are an underdog. The last time was back on May 29 versus Shane McClanahan and the Rays which ended in a 4-2 Tampa win. The Astros can be found as long as a -120 and have the pitching advantage, will be getting their best hitter back, and the ASB could slow down the Yankees’ bats. 

PredictionAstros moneyline (-120 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

With their 32-56-3 (64%) Over/Under record, the Houston Astros are the best Under team in baseball. With the AL’s best team ERA, they can shut down the Yankees this afternoon, especially coming off the break and the bullpen fresh and ready to roll.

Javier proved last month he can shut down this offense as he spun seven hitless innings as the Astros no-hit the Yankees. In fact, New York has managed just eight runs over its last four games versus the Astros this season and now faces a fully-rested Houston bullpen that’s the best in baseball in terms of ERA.

The New York bullpen is no slouch either and has the second-best ERA in baseball. They should be able to settle the later innings down against a Houston offense that sits in the bottom-third in batting average and is an average run-producing team.

Houston is winning games thanks to its pitching and their run production is helping stack Unders. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some timing issues from both lineups coming out of the break as the pitchers have the advantage with the time off more so than the hitters. That should also hold true for Taillon who struggled in his last outing versus the Astros. 

Minute Maid Park ranks as one of the best Under parks in baseball. It ranks 24th in runs, 22nd in extra-base hits, 6th in strikeouts, and 30th in walks. The Under 8 is a strong play for us here. 

PredictionUnder 8 (-110 at bet365)

Best bet

Javier’s markets are very appetizing today, specifically his out markets. We can currently get his Over 15.5 total outs at even money which projects as a +EV play today.

THE BAT projects him for just over 17 outs and we saw in his last outing versus the Yankees that he can get deep into the game even with double-digit strikeouts. Javier can have some shorter outings thanks to some control issues and the high strikeouts, but at home, he has been much better averaging 5 2-3 innings per start. 

His leash has also been extensive of late even with the 115-pitch performance versus the Yankees last month. THE BAT has him projected for 96 pitches today and facing a Yankee lineup that hasn’t seen live pitching since Sunday, he is probable to have another great outing versus the Bombers. 

Javier’s strikeout market is starting to lean to 7.5 making his Over 15.5 total outs the much better play here in a matchup that favors the pitcher as the -120 moneyline indicates.  

Cristian Javier pick: Over 15.5 total outs (+100 at bet365)

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