Red Sox vs. Astros Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Astros are set as a -170 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Red Sox are a +145 underdog and the over-under is set at 8.5.
Pitching for Boston will be Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32 ERA), while Houston turns to Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90). Pomeranz has a 1.35 WHIP with 175 strikeouts over 174 2/3 innings. He allowed one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings during a 6-3 home win over the Astros his final regular season start. He surrendered two earned runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and five walks over 12 1/3 innings over two starts against Houston this year, going 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA. Pomeranz is 7-3 in 15 road starts, compiling a 3.19 ERA in 84 2/3 innings. Keuchel holds a 1.12 WHIP with 125 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in six innings during a 14-3 win at the Rangers his last regular season start. He did not face Boston this season, but in 2016 he was shelled for eight earned runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts and three walks over six innings in a loss.
Houston won the series opener Thursday afternoon by a count of 8-2. Jose Altuve became the ninth player in postseason history to hit three home runs in one game, all solo shots. Alex Bregman was 2-for-4 with a solo home run. Evan Gattis went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. Josh Reddick finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs. Marwin Gonzalez and Brian McCann each went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Justin Verlander picked up the win as he allowed two earned runs over six innings. Hanley Ramirez was 2-for-3 with a double off the bench for Boston, replacing the injured Eduardo Nunez. Mookie Betts was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Sandy Leon was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Chris Sale surrendered seven earned runs in five innings to take the loss.
While Pomeranz has had success in two starts against the Astros, you have to look at what they did to Sale on Thursday and remember this is a lineup that crushes left-handed pitching. Keuchel was rocked last year by Boston, but that was a better lineup than what it brings to the table in 2017. Keuchel is also back to resembling his 2015 form after struggling last year. Bet on the Astros to take a commanding 2-0 lead in this series.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: HOUSTON ASTROS -170