Yankees vs. Astros prediction: MLB picks, odds, best bets

by 24USATVMarch 31, 2024, 1:01 a.m. 22
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Marcus Stroman is set to make his debut in pinstripes on Saturday night, facing Houston’s Hunter Brown.

Stroman strung together an impressive spring training, recording a 2.61 ERA throughout 20 ²/₃ innings in five starts.

He’s the latest Brian Cashman cash grab who will play a pivotal role in the Yankees’ success this season — especially with Gerrit Cole out for a couple of months.

In 2023, he persevered through some growing pains after being thrust into the rotation with an abundance of prospect hype.

The righty’s ERA-xERA difference of 0.82 reflects bad luck, but the training wheels come off this season as Brown is expected to compensate for a banged-up rotation despite the inexperience.

In terms of contact, both of these pitchers finished identically in xwOBA, allowing opposing hitters a middling .318 average.

But Brown’s learning curves landed him in the bottom 8 percent in exit velocity.

Brown is 1-1 in his career against the Yankees, holding a 4.50 ERA.

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Stroman hasn’t faced the Astros in seven years, but he’s facing a Houston team that held the third-highest rate in first swing percentage one season ago while he induced a healthy 57.1 percent rate in ground balls.

The stable vet makes the Yankees an alluring underdog play here.

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