Kate Barrington  |  Tue 9th Apr   | MLB

The New York Yankees might finally have an idea now what it’s like to face a seasoned ballclub after they squandered a late lead to the Houston Astros in their regular season opener on Monday at Minute Maid Park.

The Yankees, who is coming off a three-game winning streak at the expense of the Baltimore Orioles, held a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning but the Astros mounted a spirited comeback in the last two innings.

Catcher Robinson Chirinos tied the game with two doubles in the seventh and then shorts stop Carlos Correa came through with a clutch RBI single in the eighth inning to steal a 4-3 victory and extend Houston’s winning streak to four games.

Aaron Judge recorded his third homer in three days while Luke Volt and Clint Frazier each chipped in with RBI singles for the Yankees, who dropped to .500 (5-5).

Tuesday’s matchup (8:10 PM EST) will feature Astros’ Gerrit Cole (0-2, 3.00 ERA) going against Yankees’ Jonathan Loaisiga (0-0, 2.25). The New York Yankees +1.5 underdogs against the Houston Astros.

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New York Yankees Team Preview

Prior to Monday’s close loss to the Astros, the Yankees were rolling over the weekend with their erstwhile dormant offense finally showing its fangs.

New York bombarded the Orioles with 29 runs over the three-game stretch, significantly improving their batting line to .265 batting average, .493 slugging percentage, and. 368 on-base percentage.

Despite their early hiccups against the Orioles and the Tigers, the Yankees pitching has also stepped up their game with Masahiro Tanaka emerging as the clubhouse leader in ERA (1.47) and strikeouts (15).

For injury update, ace hurler Luis Severino returned to New York on Monday to undergo a further test on his injured right shoulder. The timetable for his return remains unclear, although reports are indicating that he’s no longer experiencing pain in his arm.

Houston Astros Team Preview

Like the Yankees, the Astros had gone through early season struggles as they only snagged a single win from their series against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers.

However, things began to look bright for the 2017 World Series champions when they took on the Oakland Athletics at home. There, the Astros showed their true firepower and composure to outlast the visitors in all three games.

Alex Bregman continues his hot start at the plate, batting .351 with one homer and three RBI. Michael Brantley drove seven of the Astros’ 33 runs in the season.

By sweeping the Athletics and winning the season-opener against the Yankees, Houston has now improved their record to 6-5, just 3.5 games behind AL West pace setter Seattle Mariners.

New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros Betting Pick

New York will be counting on Loaisiga to hold off the Astros’ formidable batting corps that features Altuve, Correa, Brantley, and George Springer. No doubt, that’s a daunting task for a rookie pitcher. However, Loaisiga actually performed well in his debut – despite the loss – to make believe that he would give the Astros batters a run for their money on Tuesday.

Gerrit Cole, who is sporting a 0-2 record with a 3.00 ERA, isn’t the safest bet to stop the likes of Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Giancarlo Stanton from producing runs. I feel the Yankees have a little bit of an edge against the Astros in the second game, especially now that Yankees manager Aaron Boone is beginning to find the right formula on the field.

Bet the New York Yankees +1.5 underdogs against the Houston Astros. 

Check out all of our MLB previews & picks here

Kate Barrington