Who: Houston Astros v. Boston Red Sox
When: Thursday September 28th, 2017 7:10PM EST
Where: Fenway Park—Boston, Massachusetts
The Astros and Red Sox will be meeting each other for the first game in a 4-game series Thursday evening and though this may be their respective last series of the year, it may not be the last time these two meet. The Red Sox, by virtue of having clinched the AL East title, are in the playoffs, as are the AL West champion Houston Astros. These two teams are two of the strongest in the AL and have proven that all season long.
As for their form heading into this series and the playoffs, the Astros will be entering this series on the back of a 3-game sweep of the Rangers and preceded that by winning 2 of 3 against the Angels. The Astros have long since won the AL West and are currently ahead of the second-place Angels by 20 games. They have gotten to where they are at today on the back of some hot hitting throughout the whole of the year. Add that to a bullpen that has really surprised a lot of folks and you have a team that very well might sneak their way into a long post-season run.
The Red Sox had a season of ups and downs. For a while there, the AL East was up for grabs and able to be won by any number of different teams, including the Yankees and the Orioles. After the All-Star Break, however, the Yankees hot-hitting cooled off significantly and that allowed for the Red Sox to solidify their position at the top of the division. After all of that, it seems very likely that the Red Sox’s last series opponent of the regular season might also be the first opponent they face in the post-season.
Game Overview and Analysis
When the visiting Astros (-106) take the field, they will do so by sending Brad Peacock (12-2 2.98 ERA) to the mound. Peacock, as his record indicates, has been absolutely killing it this year and is just one of many reasons the Astros have been hot for what seems like an entire season. His last 10 games have emitted a 4-1 record and he has kept his earned run tally to 2 or fewer in 8 of those 10 games. Peacock is what we would label as a strikeout pitcher, and he lives up to that name more often than not. All things considered, we have every reason to believe that Peacock will have yet another solid outing on Thursday.
As for the Houston offense, they have been the best in baseball over the last few weeks. In their last series, for example, Houston managed to score a combined 37 runs in 3 games, averaging more than 12 runs per game. Despite the small sample size, those are some absolutely impressive numbers. If Houston can keep up that type of performance I do not think they will have too much trouble with Boston.
When the Red Sox (-104) take the field on Thursday, they will be sending Eduardo Rodriguez (6-6 3.91 ERA) to the mound. Comparatively, Rodriguez is inferior to his opponent, but he is backed up by one of the other best offenses in the league. Rodriguez has gone 2-3 over his last 10 games and is not exactly trending in the best direction as he and his team head into the post-season.
As for the Red Sox as an offensive unit, they have won 10 of their last 13 games and are seeming to be on a roll heading into the playoffs. I do not think Eduardo Rodriguez will provide them with too much help, but with the way the Red Sox have been playing you cannot count them out.
As for a moneyline wager, I think you have to go with the Astros (-106) in this one solely because Brad Peacock is one of the best pitchers in the AL. If you combine the fact that the Astros have been scoring 10+ runs in their last few games it is really difficult to bet against them. On top of all of this, the near even money odds also make an Astros moneyline bet a bit more enticing.
As for the point spread, the Astros are +1.5 (-205) underdogs. Though I do like the fact that they are +1.5, the -205 odds are not so great. Despite that, I think the Astros’ point spread as offered by BetOnline will be the best wager to make.
The over/under for this one is listed by BetOnline at an even 9 runs (-115/-105). The Astros have exceeded this number of runs in each of their last 3 games by themselves, so I feel safe saying that you should take the over (-115) in this one. The simple fact of the matter is that both of these offenses are solid, so I think the over is a solid bet.