The ALDS got underway Friday with the two World Series favorites flexing their muscle and coming out with 1-0 series leads. The Astros made easy work of the Rays thanks to a masterful pitching performance from Justin Verlander and the Yankees used their bats to get past the Minnesota Twins in the Bronx.
Below are my picks for Saturday’s ALDS games. All lines are from the FanDuel Sportsbook.
(Hou leads 1-0): Tampa Bay Rays (+280) at Houston Astros (-340): O/U 7.5 runs scored (-106/-116)
“We got Verlander’d” was the perfect quote by Rays manager Kevin Cash after Game One of Tampa Bay’s ALDS series against the Houston Astros. Verlander had his A+ stuff on Friday as he through 7.0 innings of one hit shutout ball to help Houston to a 1-0 series lead. The Astros offense was dead for most of the game, but the bats woke up in the 5th inning thanks to a Jose Altuve 2-run HR and a 2-run error by Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe. The ‘Stros tacked on two more runs in the 7th and the Rays got on the board in the 8th, but it was too little too late as Houston walked out of Game One with a 6-2 win.
Game Two Pitching Matchup: Blake Snell (4.29 ERA in 23 started) vs Gerrit Cole (2.50 ERA in 33 starts)
Game Two Prediction: This Astros pitching staff is not fair. Going from Verlander to Cole is not a good recipe for success for Tampa. I’m taking the Astros in this one.
(NYY leads 1-0): Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees
The Minnesota Twins extended their playoff losing streak to 14 straight games after losing a 10-4 to the New York Yankees in Game One. The Twins went up 2-0 in the 3rd inning, after solo HRs from Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz, but that lead lasted less than half an inning as the Yankees put three on the board in the bottom half of the 3rd. The Twins fought back and tied it 3-3 in the top of the 5th, but it was all New York, and DJ LeMahieu from there. LeMahieu notched four RBIs on Friday night after hitting a solo HR in the 6th and a bases clearing double in the 7th.
If the Yankees shaky pitching can hold this Twins offense to four runs each game this will be a quick one for the Bronx Bombers.
Game Two Pitching Matchup: Randy Dobnak (1.59 ERA in five starts) vs Masahiro Tanaka (4.45 ERA in 31 starts)
Game Two Prediction: The Yankees comfortably take a 2-0 series lead. Take New York run line in this one.
MLB Playoffs Record: 6-2