Good afternoon sports fans, it's Chris Bengel entering your inbox once again.
There's no rest for the weary as we've got two Championship Series games on the diamond Wednesday. It's been nice having an appetizer in the late afternoon before getting another contest in the evening the past two days. Now both the NLCS and ALCS are set with the Yankees defeating the Guardians and moving on to face the Astros. .
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Let's get right down to business and jump into the picks.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Yankees at Astros, 7:37 p.m. | TV: TBS
- Key Trend: The Astros are 4-1 in their last five League Championship home games
- The Pick: Astros (-190)
The weather didn't do the Yankees any favors in their series against the Guardians. Due to Game 5 being pushed back to Tuesday, the Yankees will have to face the Astros in Houston tonight just 24 hours after wrapping up the American League Division Series in New York. I believe it'll be too much for the Yankees, especially with the Astros having Justin Verlander on the mound.
Yes, Verlander's 2022 postseason debut was a forgettable one against the Mariners. Surrendering six earned runs on 10 hits in just four innings isn't exactly what we've grown accustomed to when it comes to Verlander. Still, I'm extremely confident riding with the Astros ace in this spot.
Prior to that dreadful outing, Verlander was sensational down the stretch of the regular season, as he yielded one run or fewer in five of his final six starts. As for that lone outing in which he allowed more than one run? He allowed two earned runs to the Orioles on Sept. 22, so it wasn't exactly a horrific performance. Verlander also racked up at least eight strikeouts in four of those outings. Give me the Astros to bang out a Game 1 win over the Yankees with their ace on the hill.
💰 More picks
Blues at Kraken, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: Blues (-135): -- This one is pretty simple for me. The Blues are expected to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference and the Kraken have dropped three of their first four games this season. I'll gladly take the Blues on the road in this spot.
It's a tad strange that the Blues only have played one regular season game entering Wednesday. But in that game, they easily dispatched the Blue Jackets, 5-2, behind two goals from star winger Vladimir Tarasenko. Goaltender Jordan Binnington also got off to a strong start as he turned away 23 of the 25 shots that he faced.
The Kraken should've had a season-opening win against the Ducks, but coughed up a two-goal, third-period lead and ended up losing 5-4 in overtime. They did defeat the Kings 4-1 in a surprise victory on the road following that season-opening loss, but have been outscored 10-3 in back-to-back losses to the Golden Knights and Hurricanes since then. This is still a very young team that has some growing up to do and we've seen that in the early going this season.
Key Trend: The Blues are 10-1 in their last 11 games against a team with a losing record
Phillies at Padres, 4:35 p.m. | TV: FOX
The Pick: Aaron Nola Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-133): -- The Phillies continue to defy expectations when the lights are the brightest. After topping the Braves in the NLDS, the Phillies took down the Padres 2-0 in Game 1 of the NLCS on Tuesday behind a spectacular performance from starter Zack Wheeler. I'm going back to the well once again with my strikeout prop as Philadelphia will have another ace on the mound on Tuesday in the form of Aaron Nola.
The Phillies right-hander has been masterful of late. In each of his last six starts, Nola has tallied at least six strikeouts and he is fresh off of an outing in which he struck out six batters against a very talented Braves lineup in Game 3 of the NLDS. He has a chance to give his team a stranglehold on the series, so I'm confident he'll go fairly deep into the game. With that in mind, the six-strikeout bar should be a fairly easy one to clear.
Key Trend: Nola has registered at least six strikeouts in each of his last six starts