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Pressure on the Astros, so take a good look at underdog Yankees

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

October 12, 2017 04:41 PM
LAS VEGAS – MLB’s League Championship Series start Friday with the AL matchup of the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, after the Bronx Bombers surprised the World Series favored Cleveland Indians in their best-of-5 League Division Series.
 
That result, with the Yankees winning 5-2 in Game 5 as plus-170 road underdogs, cashed my plus-145 series bet and salvaged what had started as a disastrous baseball playoffs for yours truly. Favorites won the first six playoff games and nine of the first 10 while the first three playoff games went over and 9 of the first 11, so suffice it to say I wasn’t cashing very many tickets.
 
Through the Yankees’ win on Wednesday night and heading into Thursday night’s Game 5 of the Chicago-Washington NLDS, favorites have cooled off a little at 11-4 while overs only now lead 10-8 after unders have gone 6-2 in the last eight games.
Here’s a look at the adjusted futures (we’ll update with the Cubs-Nationals survivor in our NLCS betting preview on Friday):
 
World Series futures
Courtesy: South Point
Dodgers 3-2
Astros 2-1
Yankees 4-1
Nationals 7-1
Cubs 7-1
 
Note: all odds are from VSiN’s home at the South Point unless otherwise noted:
 
Series Price: Houston Astros minus-180/New York Yankees plus-160
 
Game 1: Yankees (o/u 8.5 under -120) at Astros (-180), 8:05 p.m. ET Friday
 
Tuley’s Take: I’ll state right off the bat that I’ve already bet the Yankees on the series price. We could run through all the stats and see that the Astros have the betting hitting team overall with edges at just about every position except maybe right field with Aaron Judge, at least when it comes to power numbers. With the pitching staffs factored in (and the troubling fact that Houston won the season series 5-2), that’s why the Astros are favored, but I just think the odds are set too high. The Yankees’ don’t hit as well for average, but they can score in bunches with their big bats. But above all else, I’m really betting on the fact that all the pressure is actually on the Astros. The Yankees weren’t supposed to be in contention this soon while the Astros are in a window where they’re expected to make a deep run and finally win the franchise’s first title. And then there’s the Yankee Mystique, which is hard to quantify but considering they just beat an even better team in the Indians at plus-145, I’ll certainly take my chances again at plus-160. I’m going to pass on the side in Game 1 with New York’s Sonny Gray taking on Houston’s Dallas Keuchel. If the Yankees win, great, as my series bet will be looking really good; if not, I won’t panic as they have plenty of time to come back in this best-of-seven series like they did in the best-of-five ALDS. I’ll go with over 8.5 EVEN in Game 1 and lean to the overs in the rest of the series (they were 5-2 in the season series, including 3-0 in Houston).
 
The plays: Yankees plus-160 in series; Over 8.5 EVEN in Game 1; lean to Overs in other games at 9 runs or below.
 
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