Justin Verlander (8-1, 2.24 ERA) will go to the bump for Houston coming off a 1 hit, 12 strikeout performance over 8 innings in his last outing. Verlander dominated the White Sox taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning. Boston will counter with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 5.43 ERA).
The Astros placed George Springer on the 10 day IL with a hamstring strain. Springer was on MVP pace with a .308/.389/.643. Houston won yesterday’s game 4-3 after Roberto Osuna blew the save in the 9th inning. Houston responded with a walk off single by Carlos Correa. Boston’s bullpen will be a little depleted for finale of the series, as David Price only went 2/3 of inning. Price was dealing with flu-like symptoms. Houston will be looking to sweep the 3 game series, and are favorites in the game at -170, and an over/under of 8.
Boston Red Sox
Boston enters at 27-25, and 14-15 away from home. Boston lost the first two games of series after winning 4 of their previous 5.
Eduardo Rodriguez hasn’t had much success against the Astros in his career. He is 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA in 3 starts. Rodriguez has not been sharp in his last two outings. He has given up 11 runs in only 11 innings. Today will mark Rodriguez’s 100th career start, Boston is 61-38 in his starts.
Boston has a few hitters that have decent career numbers against Verlander. JD Martinez (Martinez is listed as day-to-day) is 2 for 3, and Mitch Moreland is 10 for 32 with 6 doubles off the former CY Young award winner. Michael Chavis has been a breakout star for the Red Sox. Since his call-up he has 10 homers and a slash line of .277/.368/.546.
Boston has Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt, Nathan Eovaldi on the 10 day IL, and Martinez and Price are both listed as day-to-day.
The Astros enter at 35-18, and are a league best 20-6 at home. The Astros have been on an absolute tear winning 14 of their last 17 games.
Justin Verlander is just what the doctor ordered win going for a sweep of the defending champs. Verlander is 5-5, with a 2.89 ERA in his career against Boston. In his only outing last year against Boston he went 6 innings allowing only 3 hits.
As you could guess by Rodriguez poor career numbers against Houston there are a number of Astros who have hit him well. Alex Bregman leads the bunch with a 2 homers in 4 at bats. Last nights hero, Carlos Correa is also 4 for 5 against Rodriguez with a double. Combined Houston has an OPS of 1.067 in 38 at bats. Against lefties on the year Houston has a .883 OPS and they are slugging .518.
Pick and Prediction
This should be a pretty fun game between these two good teams. But, as we said – this is just what the doctor ordered for the Houston Astros. Justin Verlander is a stud, and should be able to slam the door on the Boston offense. We are betting on the Houston Astros -170 over the Boston Red Sox in this American League affair on Sunday.