These two 100-win powerhouses missed each other in the playoffs in 2018, but they’re destined to be back albeit a bumpy start to the new season for both squads. Had the New York Yankees taken care of business in the ALDS Divisional Series against the Boston Red Sox, they would have faced the Houston Astros in the ALCS Championship Series. But it was not meant to be.
Before this season began, sportsbooks had both teams listed as the highest projected over/under win totals of any team, even higher than the Champion Boston Red Sox. Houston has played to over 100 wins in each of the previous two seasons and with weak competition in the American League West, they should have no problems getting back over that mark. While the Yankees have a tough Red Sox team to face in their division, the American League East features what may be the worst team in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles, who won just 47 games last year. Expect the Yankees to rack up wins against them all season even though they’ve lost two out of three in their opening series. They should also have no issues handling
the other AL East pundits (Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays) who may be more competitive than they were last year, but we’ll believe that when we see it.
Neither the Yankees nor the Astros have gotten into a rhythm yet in 2019. However, make no mistake about it, both teams will be pushing for title contention all season long with this series potentially offering some foresight of what may be coming in the playoffs. Early season struggles are direct result of the rash of injuries the Yankees have faced. So many players they could field a team with them. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar, Jacoby Ellsbury, Didi Gregorius, Jordan Montgomery, Dellin Betances, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, and Troy Tulowitzki are all on the Injured List.
For the Astros, it’s not the injuries that’s caused the slow start. They just haven’t clicked yet. But with a roster of All-Stars led by Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and top-flight closer Roberto Osuna, they’re bound to turn it around quickly.
The Yankees come in hobbled with injuries and although they still have the roster to overcome those injuries, it won’t be easy to do in Houston against a team primed to get their season on track.