Yankees vs Astros Game 2 Picks and Predictions: Nightcap Goes Houston's Way

It's time for some Astros home cooking in the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader against the New York Yankees. With the Yanks trotting Domingo German to the mound for the first time in 2022, this has the looks of a bullpen day. We're taking Houston.

Robert Criscola - Contributor at Covers.com
Robert Criscola • Publishing Editor
Jul 21, 2022 • 14:03 ET • 4 min read
Luis Garcia Houston Astros MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will renew hostilities at Minute Maid Park on Thursday in a split doubleheader. Game 2 is scheduled to start at 6:40 p.m. ET, and features Domingo German and Luis Garcia on the hill for their respective clubs. 

What will transpire in this heat? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for Game 2 between Yankees and Astros on Thursday, July 21.

Yankees vs Astros odds

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

The Astros opened as -115 consensus favorites on Thursday morning, and have drifted only slightly to the -120 range at most sportsbooks by the time of this writing. The total was unveiled at 8.5 but has fallen to 8.0 at the majority of sites.

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 12:35 p.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: 6:40 p.m. ET

Yankees vs Astros betting preview

Starting pitchers

Domingo German (2021 stats: 4-5, 4.58 ERA): German is expected to be activated off the IL by Thursday night and make his first MLB appearance since Oct. 1. He made five rehab starts across the Yankees’ farm system and dazzled, authoring a 0.44 ERA over 20 1-3 innings.

Luis Garcia (7-5, 3.65 ERA): Garcia had won four straight starts before taking a no-decision in his final outing before the All-Star break on July 12. That occurred despite holding the Angels to one run over six frames. Garcia last faced the Yankees on June 30, limiting them to one run over 5 1-3 innings with only three hits and two walks.


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Key injuries

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Betting trend to know

The Under is 26-10-1 in the Yankees’ last 37 second games of a doubleheader. Find more MLB betting trends for Yankees vs Astros Game 2.. 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 Astros should continue to play the role of foil for the MLB-best Yankees on Thursday night.

Luis Garcia gets the starting nod for Houston and he managed to frustrate this potent Bombers lineup less than a month ago at this ballpark, holding them to one run over 5 1-3 innings while allowing only five baserunners. Garcia will start on eight days’ rest and he’s been outstanding when pitching on six or more days of rest this season. In four starts in this situation, the Venezuela native has gone 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and .169 opponent batting average. 

Domingo German responds for the Yankees, though bettors shouldn’t expect him to pitch very deep in his first start of the campaign. Though his rehab efforts were impressive, it’s a whole different ball of wax pitching to major-league hitters of the Astros’ caliber rather than minor-leaguers. 

German is more-or-less a known quantity at this point in his career. Though his 18-4 record in 2019 stood out, it masked a modest 4.03 ERA. He missed all of 2020 due to a domestic violence suspension, then returned in 2021 and pitched to a 4.58 ERA, which looked much worse when his record was only 4-5. 

He has a career figure of 1.7 home runs allowed per nine innings, which spells trouble against Houston’s powerful lineup. It begins with Yordan Alvarez, who is likely to return from the IL in time to take on the Bombers in the nightcap. His 26 homers rank fourth in the majors. Kyle Tucker, Jose Altuve, Jeremy Pena, and Alex Bregman have all jumped the yard at least 10 times for the ‘Stros this season.

Prediction: Astros moneyline (-118 at Unibet)

Over/Under analysis

The top two relief corps in the majors will face off in this tilt, and each is fully rested following the All-Star break. This makes the Under a powerful play in this matchup. 

The Yankees’ bullpen — second in baseball with a 2.89 ERA — figures to do more heavy lifting in relief of German in this one. Wandy Peralta (2.27 ERA) and Albert Abreu (2.28 ERA) have formed a formidable lefty-righty middle-relief tandem for manager Aaron Boone, while Michael King (2.19 ERA) and Clay Holmes (16 saves) have been quite stingy in the later frames. 

The Astros’ relievers are pacing the MLB with a 2.66 ERA on the year. Dusty Baker has a slew of reliable options behind Garcia, but will have to go without stand-out closer Ryan Pressly (19 saves), who was placed on the paternity list prior to today's doubleheader. Still, Ryne Stanek (0.57 ERA) and Rafael Montero (1.93 ERA) are viable options to pick up the slack. In other words, it's not a one-man show.

Because these lineups are so potent, oddsmakers have been forced to hang totals of either 8.0 or 8.5 in this matchup. But good pitching almost always wins the day over good hitting, and that’s what bettors should anticipate on Thursday evening. 

Trend players should note that the Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Houston between these two squads, and 23-9-1 in the Yankees’ last 33 games against AL West opponents.

Prediction: Under 8.5 (-112 at FanDuel)

Best bet

Aaron Judge and the Yankees’ lineup were able to run roughshod over the final two games of their series with the Red Sox before the All-Star break, as they scored 27 total runs to buoy locker-room morale. But Houston’s pitching staff should pose far more resistance than Boston’s tonight. 

New York is batting a collective .148 against the rested Garcia over 42 at-bats, with Judge’s 0-for-5 with three strikeouts catching the eye. Garcia should give the ‘Stros six solid innings before their shut-down bullpen takes over.

The trends suggest that Houston is the proper side, as the Yankees are 6-14 in their last 20 meetings with the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The ‘Stros are 5-1 in their last six games against teams with a winning percentage above .600. 

PickAstros moneyline (-118 at Unibet)

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