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Yankees vs. Astros Opening Day odds, player prop predictions and best bets against the spread

The Yankees and Astros will get their seasons started at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Thursday (4:10 p.m. ET), in an opening-day matchup we can’t wait to watch. We’ll get you prepped for this matchup of perennial AL contenders, and guide you in the direction of the best values on the BetMGM traditional and player prop betting markets.  

The 2023 season was disappointing for the Bronx Bombers. New York finished just 82-80 after an injury-ravaged campaign that kept Aaron Judge out of pinstripes for 56 games. Aaron Boone’s squad did enjoy a Cy Young campaign from Gerrit Cole, but the majority of the Yankee faithful will say that didn’t make up for the club missing the playoffs.

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The Astros did make the playoffs, and avoided the Wild Card by winning the AL West. However, the surging Rangers throttled Houston 11-4 in Game 7 of the ALCS, and Texas went on to win the World Series. With a retooled bullpen and a (hopefully) healthy rotation, brand-new manager Joe Espada hopes to get the ‘Stros back to October. That quest starts today, with Framber Valdez opening against fellow left Nestor Cortes. 

Can Aaron Judge and the Yankees mount the upset over Houston? Or, will Kyle Tucker and the Astros defend their stadium and take care of business? Let’s look at the BetMGM opening day odds for this American League clash and reveal our best bets and top player props.

Yankees vs. Astros Opening Day odds

All odds and props are from BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.

  • Run line: Astros -1.5 (+135) | Yankees +1.5 (-160)
  • Moneyline: Astros -150 | Yankees +125
  • Over/under: O 8.5 (-120) | U 8.5 (+100)

This had to have been a hard line for sportsbooks to set, given that Gerrit Cole (elbow) and Justin Verlander (shoulder) will both start the season on the injured list. Houston was also bizarrely bad at home last year (39-42, as compared to 51-30 on the road), and New York went just 40-41 away from Yankee Stadium. These clubs have also split their past 10 meetings 5-5.

The over/under must have been equally perplexing for oddsmakers. Only one team had a worse road OVER rate than the Yankees last season (42.3%), but only four teams had a better home OVER rate than the Astros (58.1%). 

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Yankees vs. Astros predictions, best bets

The Yankees didn’t look like the Yankees last season, and they barely managed to finish over .500 despite having the best pitcher in the AL. Well, now they’re starting Nestor Cortes on opening day in Houston, one of the most difficult places in the majors for visiting teams. 

We’re going with the Astros, who have home-field advantage, a more consistent pitcher, and more proven yearly success on offense. The Yanks added Juan Soto — and that’s great — but how healthy are Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton? What version of Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo will we see? There’s too many question marks with the Bombers for us to invest in them this early. 

Take the ‘Stros -1.5 with plus odds, something you normally can’t get with a club as strong from top to bottom. The Yankees are looking forward to a new chapter, but the Astros have a new chapter of their own with a brand-new manager and a strengthened bullpen. Expect Joe Espada to have Kyle Tucker, Jose Altuve, and company ready to rock against the Bronx Bombers.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Astros 5, Yankees 3 — The Astros win (-150) and cover (-1.5), and the score finishes just UNDER the projected total (8.5). 

Yankees vs. Astros top player prop bet

Nestor Cortes total strikeouts — UNDER 4.5 (-120)

Cortes typically starts the season slow, as he has averaged 3.7 strikeouts per game over his past three season debuts. The Astros’ offense also logged the third-fewest strikeouts in the majors last season, so we’re not expecting Cortes to go out and start mowing ’em down at Minute Maid. Bet the easy UNDER here and enjoy the show. 

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