Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox - 10/13/18 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Houston Astros (106-59) at Boston Red Sox (111-55)
MLB Baseball: Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 8:09 pm (Fenway Park)
J Verlander (17-9) (2.54) vs. C Sale (13-4) (2.14)
The Line: Boston Red Sox -124 / Houston Astros +114 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox meet Saturday in game one of the MLB ALCS at Fenway Park.
The Houston Astros are coming off a sweep of the Cleveland Indians and are in the ALCS for the second straight year. The Astros showed their balance in those three victories, producing 21 runs of offense while the pitching staff posted a 2.00 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 27 innings. The Houston Astros can win games any style and it’s why many believe they have a realistic chance of repeating as World Series champions. Marwin Gonzalez leads the Astros with seven hits and five RBI while George Springer and Alex Bregman have combined for 11 hits and seven RBI. Justin Verlander gets the ball, and he is 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA and 290 strikeouts this season. Verlander is 5-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 99 strikeouts in his career against the Red Sox. Verlander is 12-6 with a 3.08 ERA and 157 strikeouts in his postseason career.
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The Boston Red Sox are coming off a four-game series with the New York Yankees and are in the ALCS for the first time since 2013. The Red Sox scored 20 runs in their last two games and have now won 13 of their last 18 games when scoring more than two runs. The Boston Red Sox offense has shown it’s more than capable of shouldering the load, while the pitching staff produced a 3.50 ERA and struck out 31 batters in 36 innings, quieting a powerful New York lineup for three of the four games. Xander Bogaerts leads the Red Sox with five hits and two RBI while J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi have combined for nine hits and nine RBI. Chris Sale gets the ball, and he is 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 237 strikeouts this season. Sale is 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 71 strikeouts in his career against the Astros. Sale is 1-2 with a 6.19 ERA and 21 strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Astros are 4-0 in their last 4 games following an off day, 17-3 in Verlanders last 20 road starts and 6-0 in Verlanders last 6 starts. The Red Sox are 42-18 in their last 60 games following an off day, 6-1 in Sales last 7 home starts and 38-18 in Sales last 56 starts. The over is 13-5 in the last 18 meetings in Boston and over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
You can make a strong case for either one of these teams obviously, but I'm not turning down Verlander at plus money. Verlander has been unhittable for most of the season where he posted a .200 allowed batting average and his 2.14 ERA on the road was actually better than his numbers at home. Verlander is also a proven postseason pitcher and has given up a combined six runs in his last 38.1 innings. Sale is great, and his 2.11 ERA at home along with how he pitched this postseason, it's hard to bet against him as well. However, the Astros have tons of homerun hitters who love fastballs and will be sure to feast on any mistake made. Overall, it's a complete toss-up. But when push comes to shove, I want the good team with the ace that's giving me a little more bang for my buck.