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Houston Astros (110-55) @ New York Yankees (106-59)
Houston Astros: -175 to Win AL, New York Yankees: +145 to Win AL
A Dream Match-Up
Power pitching. Power hitting. 105 MPH out the bullpen. An MVP candidate every other batter. Homerun Kings galore. The Old Guard- the Evil Empire, The New York Yankees. The newest AL team, a potential new dynasty, the up & coming Juggernaut.
Imagine Game 7 – Astros down by 1, bases loaded, two outs, Yankees Arlandis Chapman staring reigning Astros MVP, Jose Altuve with everything on the line. Goosebumps.
If ever there was a neutral fan’s dream match-up, this is the series. Whichever team comes out of this one alive will be a massive favorite to win the World Series. What could make this baseball fantasy even better? How about a little gambling!
Once again the moment is informed by a classic Simpsons Episode: “Lisa The Greek”
Lisa Simpson asks Homer why he felt the need to gamble on football. “What could be more exciting than the savage ballet that is pro football?” Well, he contended. Sports is like ice cream and sports betting is like the sprinkles and the hot fudge. “Gambling makes a good thing even better”.
In the spirit of that universal every man who has been 39 years old for the past 30 years, let’s make a good thing even better. My number one piece of advice for this series is to bet & bet often. To celebrate the end of the baseball season – this the de facto World Series after all – bet props, games, and everything you can to make this incredible series of baseball that much sweeter.
Exact Outcome Bets
The betting market has given the Astros (-175) about a 62% chance to win the series – and the Yankees (+145) about a 38% chance to come out on top. These numbers seem fair to me. Justin Verlander and Garrett Cole can be a 2019-version of the Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, combining to stymie the Yankees in 7. However, if the Yankees can upset one of them, their superior lineup is nothing to discount.
Especially given the big markets involved, I love the chances that this series goes the distance. It’s too good of a product not to sell the maximum amount. I’m not saying that the MLB would do anything nefarious to prolong the series – except I am saying exactly that. This is an entertainment product – not a true meritocracy – and if an umpire can shade balls/strikes to help the team get down 3-2 get the win, I think they’re more than capable of making that exact business decision.
Additionally, baseball teams have a limited amount of resources. Whichever team gets down 3-2 – if the series goes that long – will have every motivation to pull out all the stops to win that next game. For the Astros that may mean bringing one of their big three pitchers in out of the bullpen. For the Yankees, this could mean forgoing a starter and bridging the entire game with any number of their world-class relievers.
Angle: Take a flyer on both Astros to Win in 7 +375 and Yankees to Win in 7 +600.
Some of the other interesting bets to consider that will be available at FanDuel over the next couple days:
- Homerun Props: Yankees set the MLB record for HRs in a season.
- Strikeouts by Pitcher: Astros, Garrett Cole set the MLB record for strikeout rate in a single season.
- To Lead After Listing Inning: Consider betting the Astros here because of their superior starting pitching, while the Yankees rely more on their bullpen.