Vegas Odds & MLB Predictions: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox (September 7th, 2018)
Houston Visits Boston in Possible ALCS Preview
The Houston Astros are the defending World Series champions. Their run differential is currently +235 which is the best in the Major Leagues and they’ve only allowed 460 runs this season which is a whopping 83 runs better than number two on the list.
That number two team is none other than the Boston Red Sox whose 97-44 record is tops in the Majors, a full 9.5 games better than both the Astros and Yankees. Their run differential is +223 and their 766 runs scored is 46 more than the second place Yankees and 71 more than Houston.
These are the two best teams in baseball and now they are squaring off in a three-game series in Boston this weekend.
The Astros come into the series winners of five straight and 12-3 in their last 15 games. Most recently they swept the hapless Minnesota Twins, outscoring them 18-4 in the three-game series.
They’ve also had to fend off the Oakland Athletics atop the NL West as the teams were tied atop the division as recently as August 18th when the A’s won the first two games of their three-game series. Houston won the finale and haven’t looked back since. They head into the weekend 3.5 games on top.
The Red Sox have won three straight, having just swept the NL East leading Atlanta Braves. The offense was in full swing as they put up 23 runs in the series and scored at least five runs in each game. After getting swept by the Rays Aug 24-26, they’ve managed to regain their footing and are 7-2 since then.
It was expected that the Yankees would give them a run for their money atop the division, but Boston swept them in a four-game series at the start of August to open up a 9.5 game lead in the AL East and heading into this weekend that is exactly where the gap still remains.
Gerrit Cole (13-5, 2.86 ERA) gave up two runs in 5.2 innings in a 4-2 win over the Angels last time out. Houston has won three of his last four outings, but he’s slipped a little from the dominant pitcher of the first four months of the season. He had a 2.52 ERA pre all-star break and it’s at 3.75 since then.
David Price (14-6, 3.60 ERA) gave up three runs in three innings in a 14-6 win over the Marlins last time out. He took a line drive off his wrist and had to leave early. Prior to that, his second half had been dominant, allowing just five runs in his previous six starts (1.09 ERA).
The teams are both at -110 odds for this one. This game should have a playoff like atmosphere, and I like the Red Sox with Price on the mound just a tick more than Houston, especially at home where they’ve been dominant. The Pick: Red Sox 3-2.