Finally, we have an American League Championship Series final. The New York Yankees eventually booked their place in the ALCS with a decisive 5-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians in Match 5 of the series, and now we look ahead to their ALCS finals against the Houston Astros starting later today.
|2022 ALCS Winner Betting Odds|
|New York Yankees||+170||+170|
In the betting to win the ALCS finals, the Astros are the favorites at -195, with the Yankees at +170. It’s a best-of-seven series, starting in Houston tonight. The Astros are also at home for match two before the series switches to the Yankees Stadium for games three, four, and five. The sixth and seventh matches will be played at Houston (if required).
We really are now getting to the business end of the MLB season. There are only four teams left in the competition, and every game now counts. If further proof were needed of how important the MLB postseason playoffs are, then look no further than the news that Elton John's concert has been kicked into touch.
Elton was due to perform at the Astros' Minute Maid Park on November 4th, but that date has been confirmed as the day for Game 6 should the Astros make the World Series final again. Even Elton John plays second fiddle to an MLB World Series final.
Latest World Series Winner Betting
If you take any notice of the MLB betting odds, then the winner of the 2022 World Series is expected to come from the ALCS final. The Astros are +175 to win the 2022 World Series, and the Yankees are +250. The two teams in the NLCS come after, with the Phillies at +250, and the Padres at +500.
The flying Phillies do look dangerous. But I’m siding with the best MLB betting sites here and think the winner will come from the ALCS. Odds are provided by Bovada, you can read more about them in our Bovada sportsbook review.
Now, in order to pick a winner of this finals, let's look at the form and see who looks more likely to win the ALCS title.
Astros qualification wasn’t as easy as it looked
The Astros looked like they qualified with ease after beating the Mariners 3-0 in the ALDS. Of the four Division Series finals, it’s probably the only one that went with the form. But when you look a bit closer, you will see that the individual matches were closer than you might have thought.
In the first match, the Astros won 8-7 at Minute Maid Park. They were 7-3 down at the end of the 7th innings, so it took some turnaround for Dusty Baker's team to come back and snatch victory.
In the second match of the series, the Astros again had to come from behind, but nothing like in the first match. After four innings, they were 2-1 down but came back to lead 3-2 after six. With the game still in the balance, nerves were eased when Houston went 4-2 up in the eighth.
The series was clinched in the first match at T-Mobile Park, where 18, yes 18 innings were needed to decide the match 1-0 on the night in favor of the Astros. Not one for fans of entertainment, but it did have its drama I suppose.
All this shows that it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Astros. But on the flip side, they did get pushed all the way in all three games, and that tells me they’re battle-hardened ahead of the ALCS finals.
Dancing our way to the ALCS. pic.twitter.com/78ox5VY3oF
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 16, 2022
Yankees taken the distance by the Guardians
This was a topsy-turvy affair, with neither side able to assume control of the series. Hence why it went to a fifth and deciding game, and even then they couldn’t sort it out on the scheduled night due to lengthy rain.
Due to the extended inclement weather conditions tonight, tonight’s ALDS Game 5 has been postponed and rescheduled for 4:07 p.m. (ET) tomorrow.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) October 18, 2022
In the first match, the Yankees won 4-1 at Yankees Stadium. At this point, it would have been easy for the Guardians to crumble. But they showed the same gritty determination that helped them beat the Rays in two matches in the wildcard series, by winning the second match (also in New York) 4-2.
Then back at Progressive Field, the Guardians had the chance to cash in on home-field advantage across the next two matches. They were in serious danger of blowing that advantage at the first attempt, at 5-3 down after eight innings. Then in an astonishing ninth inning, the Guardians blasted their way to a 6-5 win with endless hitting.
This felt like a turning point in the series. But sadly for the Guardians, they couldn’t cash in on it and ended up losing the fourth match 4-2. The Guardians were behind all night, and in the end, they couldn’t find that bit of inspiration needed to turn things around.
Then in the deciding match, the Yankees flew out of the blocks and raced into a 3-0 lead after two innings. The match was never in doubt, and the Yankees won 5-1, in the end, to take their place in the ALCS finals.
Next Stop: Houston. #RepBX pic.twitter.com/dH4QG9rmrv
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 18, 2022
Astros v Yankees; ALCS Betting Picks
Both teams look battle-hardened. The Astros were pushed all the way by the Mariners, the Yankees all the way by the Guardians. But I can’t help feeling the Astros will have taken more from their series win. It looked like a victory that was grinded out.
That tells me that the Astros look in matchplay mode. They know about knock-out finals, having got to the World Series last year. And I think Dusty Baker’s team will do it again this year and I make the Astros my ALCS finals betting pick.