Houston Astros (19-10) vs. New York Yankees (18-9), April 30, 2018, 7:10 PM CDT
Radio: KBME 790, La Ranchera 850 AM
Yankees SBNation Blog: Pinstripe Alley
Opening Line: Astros -153 (60.47% Implied Winning Prob.)
Our Model: 59.11%
RHP Charlie Morton (3-0, 1.86 ERA, 35 SO) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (1-1, 7.71 ERA, 19 SO)
Charlie Morton (3-0, 1.86 ERA/3.09 xFIP, 10.86 K/9, 3.41 BB/9) faces off against Sonny Gray (1-1, 7.71 ERA/5.58 xFIP, 8.14 K/9, 6.86 BB/9) to kickoff the series. Gray is off to a rough start for New York, and the Astros are looking fortunate for having missed out on acquiring his services at last year's trade deadline.
Last season, Gray struggled adjusting to playing at Yankee Stadium, as his home run rate on the year doubled after he was dealt from Oakland. But this season, the issue has largely been walks, as Gray's uniquely diversified repertoire has led to sloppy results on the mound. Gray adjusts his stuff on a day-to-day basis, and has as many as five curveballs and three fastballs in his repertoire, though his breaking balls have been his only slightly effective pitches this season. Gray has particularly struggled against righties this season, which should bode well for the Astros righty-heavy top of the lineup.
Charlie Morton has been electric for the Astros this season, going back to his groundball heavy roots while maintaining the lofty strikeout and swing and miss numbers of last year. It's been a long road to success for the 34-year old Morton, who appears to be getting only stronger with age. The average velocity on his fastball and sinker are both up a tick from last season, and his curveball is getting more movement than ever before.
The Yankees lineup is headlined by the home run mashing, hulk duo of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but it's really shortstop Didi Gregorius that has spearheaded the New York's offensive assault. Gregorius is batting .356/.451/.800 on the season, leads the league in wRC+ at 219, and is tied with Mike Trout as the top of the home run leaderboard with 10.
|New York Yankees||Houston Astros|
|Brett Gardner - LF||George Springer - CF|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Jose Altuve - 2B|
|Giancarlo Stanton - RF||Carlos Correa - SS|
|Gary Sanchez - DH||Yuli Gurriel - 1B|
|Aaron Hicks - CF||Josh Reddick - RF|
|Miguel Andujar - 3B||Alex Bregman - 3B|
|Neil Walker - 1B||Marwin Gonzalez - 1B|
|Gleyber Torres - 2B||Brian McCann - C|
|Austin Romine - C||Evan Gattis - DH|
|Sonny Gray - RHP||Charlie Morton - RHP|