Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
Dates: Friday, June 16 – Sunday, June 18, 2017
Location: Minute Maid Park
The BoSox just saw their three-game win streak snapped on Thursday after getting shutout by Nick Pivetta and the Phillies pitching staff on Thursday. The loss dropped John Farrell’s squad to 16-18 on the road where they’ve cost baseball bettors $587 for the season.
Houston 45-22 record is still the best in the league, but A.J. Hinch’s squad has been scuffling of late in dropping six of their last 10 ballgames against the Rangers, Angels and Royals. It’s understandable however with the injury bug taking bites out of Lance McCullers Jr., Dallas Keuchel, and Charlie Morton.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers - Friday, June 16, 2017, 8:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Drew Pomeranz vs. Mike Fiers
The lefty saw his record fall to 6-4 for the season last time out at home against the Detroit Tigers who roughed him up for eight hits ( 1 HR ) and 5 ER through 4.1 innings. The outing marked the fifth time through 12 tries that Pomeranz failed to make it through the fifth inning. He’s been better on the road ( 3.91 ERA ), but now has to deal with an Astros offense that averages 5.3 runs per game against south paws ( No. 3 ).
Fiers has done a yeoman’s job of bringing up the rear of Houston’s starting rotation by going 4-2 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. While he doesn’t do anything to amaze, he’s proven to be an innings eater. With the Astros possessing an above average bullpen, that’s all its taken to lead the team to wins in eight of his 12 starts. The long ball has proven to be an issue with him conceding 2.5 per nine innings.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Saturday, June 17, 2017, 8:15 p.m. ET ( FOX )
Rick Porcello vs. David Paulino
Porcello has hardly looked like the pitcher that brought home the AL Cy Young Award last season. Through 86.2 innings of work, the righty has been peppered for 114 hits and 45 ER. It’s equated to a 4.67 ERA but his 3.96 FIP shows him as being a bit unlucky. That has everything to do with an insanely high .366 BABIP and terrible 69.4 percent strand rate. His numbers should correct soon, but it might not be tonight.
Paulino has all the talent in the world, but it’s untapped and needs to be molded if he’s to stick at the major league level. After showing well in his first two starts against Minnesota and Kansas City on the road, he was raked for six hits and 5 ER by the Angels in his home debut last Sunday. The youngster has given up a long ball in each of his three starts, but has only walked a total of four batters through 13.2 innings.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers - Sunday, June 18, 2017, 8 p.m. ET ( ESPN )
David Price vs. Joe Musgrove
Price took baby steps in the right direction his last time out at home against Philadelphia by limiting the Phillies to just four hits ( 1 HR ) and 3 ER through six innings of work. The effort was his second of quality through four tries, but the four walks issued leaves cause for concern. So do the four home runs allowed in his first four starts. Houston will prove to be another tough customer as adept it is at hitting LHP, and Minute Maid is as unforgiveable as it gets in left field.
Musgrove has had flashes of brilliance on occasion, but you have to imagine his roster spot will be in jeopardy once all of the Astros top flight arms return from the DL. He’s 4-5 with a 4.81 ERA, and Houston has only won five of his 11 made starts. He’s had major issues conquering “The Juice Box” where he checks in 2-5 with a bloated 5.05 ERA and .280 BAA. He gets the benefit of Boston never seeing his stuff live before, but the Red Sox sit 11 games over .500 when matched up against righties.