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Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros ALDS Game 1 - 10/5/17 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Boston Red Sox (93-69) at Houston Astros (101-61)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm (Minute Maid Park)

C Sale (17-8) (2.90) vs. J Verlander (15-8) (3.36)

The Line: Houston Astros -120 / Boston Red Sox +100 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

The Boston Red Sox tangle with the Houston Astros in the ALDS opener in Thursday MLB.

The Boston Red Sox are hoping for a return to the glory years when the team was seemingly always a World Series threat. Boston won the American League East on the strength of a 93-69 record to outlast the hated Yankees by only two games as the division wasn’t secured until the second to last day of the regular season. Boston has interesting  offensive numbers as this was a #10 scoring squad at 4.85 runs on a .258 batting average. The Red Sox were near the bottom of the rankings with 168 homers (#27)  but speed was a weapon with 106 stolen bases to rank number six.  The Red Sox leaned heavily on their pitching with success with the 4th ranked team ERA of 3.72 that was bolstered by the rotation that was second in 88 quality starts.Left hander Chris Sale draws the ALDS opening game start from the Boston Red Sox versus the heavy hitting Houston Astros on Thursday. Sale comes off a huge season with the Red Sox where he went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and struck out 308 in 214.1 innings.

Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros ALDS Game 1 - 10/5/17 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros laid waste to the American League West as they jumped out to a sizeable lead and never really let up. The Astros ended the season at 101-61 and were the only team with a winning record so the division was not very strong overall. The Stros were formidable at the plate with a laughable team batting average of .282 producing over 5 12 runs per game so this was the top offense in baseball. Houston was dangerous in all areas with the number two power game totaling 238 long balls while lineup was #8 in stolen bases with 98. If the Astros had a weakness it was on the mound where the arm’s posted a 4.12 ERA but that generally didn’t matter with the offense putting up the big numbers. The Houston Astros have named veteran right hander Justin Verlander as the starter in game one of the ALDS versus the visiting Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Verlander has been at the top of his game since being traded to the Astros and has gone 15-8 with a 3.36 ERA in 2017

Boston are 6-2 in their last 8 games following a loss and  are 19-7 in their last 26 road games and are 3-8 in their last 11 Thursday games. Houston are 11-2 in their last 13 home games and over is 6-2 in Houston last 8 on grass and under is 6-2 in Houston last 8 Thursday games. The over is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings.

The question in this one from a Red Sox perspective is can Sale control the big offense of Houston who can do everything and do it well. The flip side is can Keuchel throw his type of game and limit Boston’s opportunities because the bats tend to come through in the clutch. Keuchel at Minute Maid has been a solid choice so I like him to shine here…

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