Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros (ALDS Game One)
When: 4:05 PM EDT, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Where: Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas
Lines: Houston -120/ Boston +110
Today on the MLB diamond, the American League Division Series will begin as the Boston Red Sox battle it out with the Houston Astros in game one of their best-of-five series. This contest has a start time of 4:05 PM and will take place at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Pitching Probables: The Red Sox will trot out Chris Sale (17-8, 2.90 ERA) in this one and he will be opposed by Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA).
Red Sox Are Looking To Make Statement In Game One
The Boston Red Sox have had a fine season so far, but it did not end that well as they lost three of their final four games, which was at home to these Houston Astros. Boston has the tool’s to win a five-game set with the Astros, but they are taking on a team that was very hot down the stretch of the year. The offense hasn’t been as good as the past few years for Boston and they scored just 13 total runs in that set win the Astros to end the year. The offense has been led by Mookie Betts, who had 24 homers and 102 RBIs, after posting 113 last year. They also have a couple of young hitters that have been a big part of the offense in Rafael Dever (.284, 10 homers) and Andrew Benintendi (20 homers, 90 RBIs), plus they have experience in Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, and Xander Bogaerts. Do not sleep on this team at all. The Sox have gone 45-36 on the road and they have averaged 4.91 rpg and have allowed 3.94 rpg in those games. Taking the hill for the Red Sox will be Chris Sale, who is an American Cy Young award candidate and will be making his first-career postseason appearance. He was 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA in 32 starts on the year, including 1-1 with a 4.34 ERA in his last three starts and 10-5 with a 2.71 ERA in 19 starts on the road, plus he led the league in strikeouts with 308. Sale has gone 5-1 with a 1.31 ERA in six career starts against the Astros, including 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts here at Minute Maid Park
The Red Sox have been a solid offensive team this year as they come in ranked 10th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.85 rpg, while also ranking 13th in hitting at .258 and 27th in homers with 168. On the mound, they have been very strong this year as they come in ranked 4th in the league in ERA at 3.72, while also ranking 5th in WHIP at 1.25.
The Pitching Has Been Very Hot Of Late
During the course of the season, the Houston Astros have been near the middle of the pack in team ERA, but down the stretch, that pitching staff has been on fire. The Astros have gone 14-3 in their last 17 games and have allowed 2.76 rpg over that stretch of games. In fact, we note that they have allowed three runs or less in 14 of those last 17 games. Now that is some pitching and it could be that pitching that eventually lands them in the world series. Getting great pitching is nice, but their offense has been the best in the league all year and has been led by Jose Altuve (24 homers, 81 RBIs), George Springer (34 homers, 85 RBIs) and Carlos Correa (24 homers, 84 RBIs), plus let’s not forget about the surprise of this team, Marwin Gonzalez (23 homers, 90 RBIs). This team has plenty of offensive firepower and if the pitching continues to do its thing, then they just might find themselves in the World Series. Toeing the slab for the Astros in this one will be Justin Verlander, who was 15-8 with a 3.36 ERA in 33 starts on the year overall, including a perfect 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in five starts as a member of the Astros. Verlander has gone 7-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 16 career starts in the postseason (all with Detroit) and he has gone 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA in eight career starts in this park, while against the Red Sox he has gone 5-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 17 starts.
Houston has been a strong offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 1st in the league in scoring, putting up 5.53 rpg, while also ranking 1st in hitting at .282 and 2nd in homers with 238. On the mound, they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 11th in the league in ERA at 4.12, while also ranking 8th in WHIP at 1.27.
- 3-8 in their last 11 Thursday games
- 1-5 in their last six Divisional Playoff road games
- 11-2 in their last 13 home games
- 21-7 in their last 28 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15
The Astros have been very hot down the stretch and they just took three of four in Boston, but they will be facing Chris Sale, who has been one of the best starters in the league this year. The Astros have won 14 of their last 17 games and Justin Verlander has been awesome for them since coming over from Detroit as he has gone 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in five starts with the team The Red Sox have had a solid season overall and they have played well on the road, but Chris Sale has struggled some down the stretch as he has gone 3-3 with a 4.15 EA in his last seven starts and I look for a red-hot Houston offense to do just enough damage against him to pick up the win in this one.
Pick: Houston -120
Chris Sale has struggled down the stretch and the Houston offense has been very strong of late and the best in the league all year. In his last seven starts, Sale has followed up a bad outing with a very good outing and I look for him to have a solid showing in this one. In his last three games coming off a non-quality start, he has a 0.00 ERA. He won’t blank the Houston offense, but he also won’t have a bad showing. Justin Verlander has experience in the postseason and he has a strong 1.06 ERA in his last five starts and those games have averaged just 6.00 rpg. This will be a classic playoff pitcher’s duel, with Houston getting just enough runs to win the game.