New York Yankees @ Houston Astros: Home advantage should tell in series decider

Will Houston step into the World Series final?
Will Houston step into the World Series final?
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It's the final game of the American League Championship series and AccuScore fancy Houston to enjoy the home comforts at the expense of the Yankees

"So far it’s been the home sides winning in the series and this trend is likely to continue."

New York Yankees @ Houston Astros
Saturday 21 October, 21:00 (BST)

It is what all the baseball fans are itching for - game seven of a playoff series deciding the MLB World Series participant.

It's been a series of home victories, Houston Astros narrowly grasping the lead after two 2-1 wins at Minute Maid Park. The Yankees then pulled even and took the lead in their three-game home stand, outscoring the Astros 19-5 in those games.

However, Astros big guns picked up their stride at 11th hour when they outscored the Yankees 7-1 in game six.

At this point of the series, it is all-in for both teams. The Astros have a slightly more rested bullpen as they strode to easy victory on the shoulders of Justin Verlander's seven innings pitched. The Astros starter for the decider is 33-year-old Charlie Morton, who will face Yankees veteran lefty CC Sabathia.

Both experienced starters have already seen some action in the playoffs. Sabathia took the spoils in game three, where he shut out the Astros allowing only three hits in six innings, recording a 8-1 win.

Morton was less fortunate: he allowed six hits and seven runs in only 3.2 innings. But he didn't get much help from his team and got some unlucky bounces.

Sabathia does have the edge career-wise, as he is 10-5 in 21 starts with an ERA of 4.24 as compared to Morton's 0-2 in three starts and 7.24 ERA. Both teams have reported they're able to use each and any of their pitchers from the bullpen - including the starters - in effort to reach the World Series, so if there's any shakiness to start with, the starters are likely to get hooked early on.

The Astros' batters were all but shut out for the three game stint in New York, but exploded back in action returning home. It'll be crucial for the Astros to get their batting going as it's been only their aces Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel who've been able to hold the Yankees under five runs.

Accuscore Analysis

In Accuscore simulations, the Astros win with 55.4 % probability and progress to World Series to face the Dodgers. Yankees win with 44.6% likelihood.

The odds are generally hovering around [1.73] for the Astros, indicating a favored position of 57.8%. The underdogs Yankees receive odds of [2.11], which indicates probability of around 47%. The value bets should be struck on Astros at odds better than [1.81] and backing the Yankees when the odds reach [2.24].

According to simulations both teams manage to score plenty. The Astros are able to pound in on average 5.0 runs, while the Yankees are close to matching with 4.7 on average. Neither of the pitchers are likely to have a quality start in the high-pressure situation, with Morton's probability at 46% and Sabathia's at 38%. The bullpens are likely to allow the exact same amount of runs with 1.6, but Sabathia takes the -0.3 difference in his 5.5 innings pitched.

The Astros batters were in terrible form on the road but found their stride last night at home. The most productive hitter, however, is likely to be Yankees' sensation Aaron Judge, whose hits+walks+RBI average is 2.53 with average home runs at 0.27. Astros productivity relies more in overall potential, with Carlos Correa's average at 2.46, Jose Altuve at 2.43 and George Springer at 2.38. For the Yankees, no player except for Judge reaches productivity average over 2.1.

So far it's been the home sides winning in the series and this trend is likely to continue, according to simulations. The odds are close to their correct mark, but look out for reactions closer to the game. Astros have both the home advantage and a slightly better team overall, so we like Houston to head for the World Series!

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