Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
Date and Time: Sunday, June 18, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Minute Maid Park
Probable Pitchers: David Price vs. Joe Musgrove
Red Sox vs. Astros TV Coverage: ESPN
Winners in six of their last ten games, the Red Sox find themselves three games in back of the Yankees for the division lead. While NY seems to be playing on a different level right now, Mookie Betts and his mates are still the frontrunners in the wild card race and also check in as one of the favorites on the World Series futures odds ( +850 ).
If they’re to truly become taken more serious than they currently are, the team is going to have to find a way to win more ball games on the road. After splitting its two games in the City of Brotherly Love, the Red Sox check in just 16-18 as visitors costing baseball bettors a pretty penny ( -$587 ).
The Astros were scorching hot through the first two months of the season. Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. were one of the two main reasons why with each combining for a 15-1 record and both sporting sub 2.60 ERAs. But with each now on the DL along with Charlie Morton, Houston has scuffled dropping six of its last 10 games.
Regardless, the team still owns what looks to be an insurmountable 11 game lead atop the AL West standings, and none of the Rangers, Angels or Athletics looks to have it in them to overtake them. Houston has won 22 of its 36 played games in front of the hometown faithful with the under cashing at a 19-15-2 clip.
Matchup to Watch
Two of the premiere closers in the game lead each team’s respective bullpen. Craig Kimbrel is throwing like the Kimbrel of old limiting opponents to a paltry .081 BAA. He’s registered 57 Ks and issued just five free passes through his 29.2 total innings, but most importantly, has only allowed three runs to cross the plate against him. Ken Giles has been a bit more hittable in allowing 20 through 26.1 innings, but he’s fanned 34 and only issued nine walks. In this day and age of horrendous closers, he’s been about as dependable as it gets. If either of these two gets the ball with a lead in the ninth, it’s lights out baby!
Red Sox vs. Astros Picks
David Price will be the second lefty the Astros will get to see in this series after squaring off against Pomeranz in the opener. Houston has done most of its damage on the odds at BookMaker.eu versus righties ( 36-15 ), but it owns a 9-7 record and averages 5.3 runs per game against southpaws. Price hasn’t been great through his first four starts, but he’ll take to the starting bump confidently knowing he’s 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA and .197 BAA lifetime at Minute Maid Park.
Joe Musgrove has done nothing this season to lead me to believe he should be the favored side in this matchup, so it that turns out to be the case, it’s time to hammer Boston. Even if the Red Sox are listed as short road chalk, they’re the side to back. Musgrove owns a 5.05 ERA and .280 BAA in his eight home starts, and owns a 27.3 quality start percentage for the season. I’m more inclined to back Price and the Red sox in this one knowing full well they’ll be out to snare a signature win in front of a nationally televised audience.
Red Sox vs. Astros Pick: Bet the Red Sox at BookMaker.eu
Red Sox vs. Astros Score Prediction: Boston 6 – Houston 3