The Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox meet at Fenway Park for the all-important ga Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday night.
Houston drew first blood by defeating Boston 5-4 in the series opener last Friday but the Red Sox stormed back to steal Game 2 in Houston 9-5 as slight +103 betting underdogs to the Astros. With home-field advantage now on their side, the Red Sox hope to take advantage by winning the first game in Boston and taking a crucial 2-1 series lead.
Both teams are currently listed at -110 to win this pick-em series and with the odds that close, the team that wins Game 3 could have the edge in advancing to the World Series.
The Astros are a good 45-38 when playing away from Houston while the Red Sox have been impressive at Fenway Park with a record of 52-32 at home.
The Astros finished the regular season with a record of 95-67 and they won the AL West. Houston defeated the Chicago White Sox 3-1 in their opening playoff series. In six postseason games, the Astros have a batting average of .286 with eight home runs, six stolen bases, and are scoring an average of 6.8 runs per game.
Carlos Correa leads the team with a .520 OBP and a .429 batting average with one home run and five RBIs. Kyle Tucker leads the team with two home runs and 8 RBIs in the playoffs while Jose Altuve has two homers and six RBIs in the postseason.
Jose Urquidy will make his first postseason appearance on Monday. The 26-year old right-handed posted an 8-3 record with an ERA of 3.62 and a WHIP of 0.99 during the regular season. In 8 career postseason starts, Urquidy has posted a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 2.64.
Boston needed to win its last three regular season games just to make the Wild Card game where they beat the New York Yankees 6-2. In the ALDS, they lost the opening game to the Tampa Bay Rays before winning the next three to advance to the AL Championship Series.
The Red Sox leads all playoff teams with a batting average of .316 and 16 postseason home runs. Enrique Hernandez has five playoff home runs and nine RBI. Rafael Devers leads the majors with 10 RBi in the playoffs while JD Martinez has 2 home runs and 8 RBI.
28-year old Eduardo Rodriguez will open on top of the mound for the Red Sox in this all-important game. In his two appearances against Tampa Bay in the previous round of the playoffs, he allowed four earned runs in 6 ⅔ innings while taking one loss. During the regular season, Rodriguez was 13-8 with an ERA of 4.74 and a WHIP of 1.39
Houston is 6-2 SU in their last eight games played. The Astros are 4-0 in their last four games as betting underdogs, 4-0 in their last four Monday games, 4-0 in their last four games after a loss, 6-1 in their last seven games against a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30, 58-19 in their last 77 games after an off-day, and 6-2 in their last eight games against an opponent with a winning record.
Boston is 8-2 in their last 10 games played overall. The Red Sox are 16-5 in their last 21 playoff games, 8-3 in their last 11 Monday games, 36-15 in their last 51 games as home favorites, 35-17 in their last 52 home games, 11-4 in their last 15 games after a straight up win, 10-4 in their last 14 games after scoring five or more runs in their previous game, and 5-1 in their last six League Championship games played.
Head to head, the Astros are 10-5 in their last 15 games against the Red Sox and 8-4 in their last 12 meetings in Boston.
Despite having a winning record this season, Eduardo Rodriguez has been far from ace-level status. Rodriguez posted a 5.95 ERA in 13 starts at Fenway Park and the Astros have been successful against him with 13 hits and 12 earned runs in 9 ⅓ innings pitched
On the other hand, this will be Jose Urquidy’s first time to pitch at Fenway Park. However, Urquidy pitched six innings against the Red Sox last May 31 and allowed only one run with nine strikeouts in an 11-2 win.
Houston is playing in the ALCS for the 5th consecutive season and they have veterans who have been here before and know what to do to win. It’s hard to say no to the Astros at this stage of the season, especially at plus money odds.
Prediction: Houston Astros +107
The total has gone over in Houston’s last five games played. The over is 5-0 in their last five playoff games, 5-0 in their last five games played on grass, 6-1 in their last seven games against the American League East, 19-5-2 in their last 26 games after scoring five or more runs in their previous game, 8-3-2 in their last 13 road games, and 8-3 in their last 11 Monday games.
The total has gone over in Boston’s last five games played overall. The over is 5-0 in their last five playoff games, 6-0 in their last six games played on grass, 7-0 in their last seven games against the American League West, 5-0 in their last five games against an opponent with a winning record, 10-1-1 in their last 12 home League Championship games played, and 13-2-1 in their last 16 games against a right-handed starter.
Prediction: Over 9
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