The reigning World Series champions take on the Yankees on the back of a 10-9 extra-innings defeat in Cleveland last night. Gerrit Cole's magical start to the season suffered a rough start as Jose Ramirez took him deep in the first inning for a two-run homer, but then he settled down. The starter allowed just six hitters to reach first base and allowed three runs in seven innings while striking out eight. The problem was that the bullpen could do little to resist the Indians. Despite three homers, including two from Evan Gattis, the Indians rallied with five runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extras. Both sides got a run in the 13th to keep the game going, before Greg Allen walked off with a homer of Brad Peacock.
The Yankees had a simpler time last night, beating the Angels 3-1. Masahiro Tanaka was masterful as he struck out eight in six innings and allowed just one run on a solo shot by Andrelton Simmons. The Yankees only managed five hits, but six walks kept the basepaths busy and allowed enough offense to take a comfortable win.
Justin Verlander (RHP) Vs. Domingo German (RHP)
Verlander is leading the AL Cy Young race at the moment. He has a ridiculous 1.08 ERA through 11 starts, with a 071 WHIP and an 11.2 K/9. He has been simply masterful all year, allowing more than two runs in a start just twice, and he hasn't given up a home run since April 25. He's already faced the Yankees once this year, throwing eight scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts. He's the best pitcher in baseball right now and just six wins away from 200.
Domingo German has a had a rough 2018. He's got a 5.59 ERA through three starts and eight appearances that is bloated by his last two, horrific, starts. Against Oakland he allowed six runs in five innings before bettering that with six runs in 3.2 innings against the Rangers. This is one of the most lopsided pitching matchups you will see all year.
|Astros Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Yankees Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who's hot, and who's not
Jose Altuve has broken out of late. He's hitting a massive .375 over the last two weeks with a homer, four steals, and 11 RBI. Alex Bregman is playing well at third base too, hitting .294 with a pair of homers and 11 runs in the last two weeks, while youngster Tony Kemp is 10 for his last 30. On the flip side, Carlos Correa is hitting just .212 and Marwin Gonzalez has been even worse, with a .143 average in the last two weeks.
For the Yankees, Brett Gardner has turned it on in recent weeks. The outfielder is hitting .343 in the last two weeks, while both Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres continuing to hit beyond their years. Both are hitting over .320 with multiple homers (six for Torres) in the same time span. Meanwhile, Didi Gregorius continues to struggle, he has just three hits in his last 36 at-bats. Aaron Judge his hitting just .231 too.
It is almost impossible to pick against the Astros when Verlander is pitching. He has been too good to think that he can't control the Yankees while the Houston lineup picks apart German. This should be a comfortable win for the Astros, but there is power enough in the Yankees lineup to punish Verlander if he is off. Don't be stunned if the Yankees sneak a win here, after all the managed it last time they faced Verlander.