A packed weekend of MLB action continues Saturday, and baseball handicapper Dalton Brown is back with an early look at a pick he thinks shows great value.
1:05 p.m. ET: Houston Astros at New York Yankees: Astros moneyline (-130) at DraftKings
The Astros and Yankees will continue their much-anticipated four-game set on Saturday, when righty Justin Verlander makes his debut since returning to the Astros. Houston traded away two of its top four prospects Tuesday to acquire the veteran, who has already seen the Yankees twice this season.
Verlander has dominated New York in 2023 - over 12 innings with the Mets, the Bronx Bombers generated just one run of offense against him. Last season, J.V. produced similar results when Houston traveled to the Bronx, cruising for seven innings of one-run ball against New York. He's more than comfortable with facing this Yankees lineup, and why wouldn't he be? Aaron Boone's team ranks just 28th in baseball with a wRC+ of 81 against righties since June 15.
On the flip side, Nestor Cortes will pitch for New York - and while the righty's 3.83 xERA suggests he's due for positive regression, the results have left a lot to be desired. Cortes, returning from the IL, pitched to a 5.47 ERA in May, surrendering four or more runs in three of his last six starts - and never allowing fewer than two. Nestor also allowed six runs over seven innings last season when combining his regular season and postseason appearances against Houston. The Astros offense is finally as healthy as its been all season, and firing on all cylinders vs. lefties, too (112 wRC+, 9th-best in MLB since June 15).
Houston should be a larger favorite here, and I anticipate it will be by the time the first pitch is thrown at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon.