It is the Aries season! The most energetic and fiery of symbols in the sky. So imagine the atmosphere with baseball beginning its new season with a fiery battle between two teams who’ve grown into big rivals. The Houston Astros are everything the New York Yankees used to be – they’re all-conquering and a constant World Series threat. However, face-to-face the two are as equal as they come. So with this epic game just hours away, there’s a lot to look forward to in this clash of titans. 

In a weird coincidence, both these teams will be starting without their superstar pitchers. The elbow issues of Gerrit Cole have sealed him for at least a month. On the other hand, Justin Verlander’s shoulder issues have persisted since the start of Spring Training. However, that doesn’t mean the teams lack heavy artillery. With the AL superiority up for grabs, who will prevail in this tournament of power?

Key factors that could decide the direction of this series 


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Nestor Cortes vs Framber Valdez – the battle of lefties 

Yankees’ Nestor Cortes will go one-on-one against the Astronauts’ Framber Valdez in an explosive pitching battle. Surprisingly both pitchers are coming off a slight downturn in performances. While Cortes’ rotator cuff strain effectively shut him down last season, even while he was performing things weren’t good. In fact, had it not been for Cole’s injury, he wouldn’t have been starting this game. 

On the other hand, Framber Valdez has started 31 games for the Astros in the last 2 seasons. However, as USAToday reported, he logged in a 2.51 ERA in 1st half of 2023 but it stumbled down to 4.66 by the 2nd half. So it certainly will be a massive battle on the mound between these two pitchers with a massive chip on their shoulders.

Juan Soto’s debut has everyone short of breath

It’s finally here! Superstar Juan Soto is about to make his debut for the Yankees. While the Spring Training has been fantastic for the Dominican Superstar, will he be able to continue that form in the regular season? But it’s a bittersweet situation for the Yankee Nation as his debut is happening in Minute Maid Park instead of the Yankee Stadium. Still, the Dominican Star has made his intentions known – he wants to win in his walk year.

Alex Bregman’s impending free agency casts a shadow over this season

Despite heavy speculations, Alex Bregman hasn’t signed an extension with the Astros yet. Last season the slugger recorded 163 hits with an OBP of .363 and an impressive .441 SLG! With the Scott Boras client looking to have a monstrous walk year, it’ll be interesting to see how Bregman will fare. With Juan Soto also entering his walk year, this is turning out to be a battle of Boras clients in the Minute Maid Park. 

While these battles have made things interesting, what are the odds saying? Who will prevail in this battle for glory?

Read more: New York Yankees’ World Series Hopes in Doubt? Glaring Deficiencies Haunt Bronx Team Despite Flattering Odds


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New York Yankees vs Houston Astros – glory awaits the victor 

Nearly every site is putting this matchup on almost even grounds. In 2023 the Yankees won 5 out of 7 games in this series. Will they be repeating that again? In an odd situation, no team has had back-to-back winning years against each other between these two for the last 5 years. Predictions suggest that the trend might continue this season as well. 

According to BetMGM’s Wednesday odds – the Yankees are +125 while the Houston Astros are -150. In simple words, the Astros are favored to win against the Bronx Bombers this time around. Cole’s injury and the lack of quality pitching depth may prove to be the bane for the Pinstripes. 


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However, the Yankees fans need not be disheartened. After all, baseball is as unpredictable as it comes. With so many variables at stake, this Aries season will prove memorable for all the lovers of this beautiful sport.

Read more: Injury Blows Strike Yankees Before MLB Opening Day: Key Players Absent for 2024 Opener