Unbeatable on his home turf, Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel will need to buck a couple of ugly trends to win his team’s biggest game of the season tonight in the Bronx.
Keuchel is 5-8 in 15 road starts, and the Astros’ road record (33-48) was among the worst in the American League. He also is starting on only three days’ rest. Keuchel went 15-0 at home.
The Yankees are pinning their hopes on right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who was 7-4 with an impressive 0.996 WHIP in 14 home starts.
The AL wild-card game is lined as a pick’em (-105 on each side) at most books.
“The public is betting Houston and looking at Keuchel as one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Westgate Las Vegas sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “But Keuchel is not the same pitcher on the road, the Astros have a terrible road record, and they are a young team.
“I would think the Yankees’ experience would get them through. If I bet, I would bet the Yankees.”
There are two sides to every story, of course, and one strong trend is working in Keuchel’s favor. In two starts against the Yankees this season, he threw 16 scoreless innings with 21 strikeouts and one walk.
Also, the Yankees mailed it in and lost six of seven games to end the regular season.
This is essentially a coin-flip game, but it’s tough to ignore Keuchel and the Astros’ struggles on the road.