Red Sox versus Astros MLB betting: Sale Away to AvalonPosted by: Mike Davis
The Houston Astros host, as MLB betting favourites, the Boston Red Sox to kickoff the 2017 American League Division Series. Both starting pitchers, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander were acquired, the former during the offseason, the latter right before the trade deadline, by their current teams, the BoSox and ‘Stros respectively, precisely with a view to the playoffs. Boston is 7-2 in Sale’s last nine starts and 19-7 in their last 26 games on the road, while Houston is 5-0 in Verlander’s last five starts and 11-2 in their last 13 games at home.
Red Sox +1½ (-210) 7 (-110) +115
Astros -1½ (+175) 7 (-110) -125
Boston Red Sox (93-69)
Chris Sale (LHP, 17-8, 2.90 ERA, 308 K) will be making his 181st career start but his very first in the playoffs. Sale didn’t pitch against the Astros in 2017 but is 5-1 with a 1.31 ERA in his career versus Houston. Sale posted a 4.09 ERA in his last 11 starts following a 2.37 ERA in his first 21, but not only did the BoSox as a whole struggled late in the season with a 4.98 ERA the last two weeks, but Sale’s his 3.21 ERA in the past three seasons is the 11th-best in the MLB, even ahead of Dallas Keuchel.
Boston stole the sixth-most bases in the MLB (106). At the same time, Houston allowed 102 steals and managed to catch just 14 prospective base-stealers. The Olde Towne Team scored 785 runs to the Astros’ Majors-leading 896.
The Red Sox’s bullpen features the best closer in the Majors, Craig Kimbrel, as well as reliever David Price, who can go for several innings.
The MLB betting total has gone under in nine of Boston’s last 14 postseason games on the road.
Houston Astros (101-61)
Justin Verlander (RHP, 15-8, 3.36 ERA, 219 K) posted a 1.06 ERA, struck out 43 and walked five in five winning starts after the Astros acquired him from the Tigers in exchange for Franklin Pérez, Jake Rogers, and Daz Cameron. Unlike Sale, this will be Verlander’s 17th playoffs start, and he has a 3.39 ERA in the previous 16.
The Astros had their only month with a losing record in August (11-17), at the end of which month the acquired Verlander to give the team physical as well as mental momentum, and the gamble paid off, as Houston went 21-8 in September/October. The rotation also had a strong finish, going 11-2 with a 2.96 ERA in the last two weeks of the regular season. The ‘Stros led the MLB in runs (896) and ranked second in homers, and last in strikeouts. Manager AJ Hinch, however said, “I don’t think about records – you can flush that. They provide the seeding. They don’t provide a lot more. You can’t count your wins anymore.”
The MLB betting total has gone over in nine of the last 13 encounters between Houston and Boston.