Boston Red Sox (114-56) at Houston Astros (107-62)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 18, 2018, 8:09 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -163 / Boston Red Sox +143 --- Over/Under:
The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros meet Thursday in game 5 of the ALCS at Minute Maid Park.
The Boston Red Sox will advance to their first World Series since 2013 with a victory here. The Red Sox offense continues to come up big, as they’ve produced a combined 23 runs in their last three games and four or more runs in six of their eight postseason games. The Boston Red Sox have now won nine of their last 12 games overall when scoring more than two runs. Xander Bogaerts leads the Red Sox with 10 hits and five RBI while Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts have combined for 17 hits and seven RBI. David Price takes the hill, and he was 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA and 177 strikeouts this season. Price is 6-2 with a 2.94 ERA and 85 strikeouts in his career against the Astros. Price is 2-9 with a 5.42 ERA and 72 strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Houston Astros need a victory here to save their season and force a game six on Saturday. The Astros pitching staff has really crapped the bed their victory in game one, as they allowed eight runs in their game four loss, the same amount they gave up in their first four postseason games combined. The Houston Astros have the offense to overcome subpar pitching, but right now things aren’t looking good for the defending champions. George Springer leads the Astros with 13 hits and eight RBI while Marwin Gonzalez and Jose Altuve have combined for 18 hits and 12 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 13-6 with a 3.08 ERA and 163 strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Red Sox are 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games, 5-2 in their last 7 road games and 62-29 in their last 91 overall. The Astros are 19-7 in their last 26 playoff home games, 5-2 in their last 7 playoff games and 10-4 in their last 14 Thursday games. The over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Houston and 35-15-1 in the last 51 meetings.
At this point betting against the Boston Red Sox doesn't seem like a smart idea, as they just find ways to win. However, we're getting one of the best and most consistent pitchers in Verlander against a pitcher in Price who has been historically bad throughout his postseason career. Yes, Price was improved in his last start, but he's not Verlander and is more than hittable for these desperate Astros at home. To me, this is a big pitching advantage for the home team, so while I'm sure the Red Sox will be tempting as decent sized underdogs, I have to back Houston to force a game six.