Houston Astros (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS, 2-0 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS, 0-2 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, October 8, 2017, Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, 2:38 pm ET
Lines: Houston -138, Boston +128; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the continuation of an AL Division Series as the venue shifts from the Lone Star State to Beantown. The Houston Astros look to advance to the AL Championship Series as they play the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of their best of five series Sunday afternoon. Houston won the first two games of the series, taking an 8-2 win in Game 1 Thursday night and following with an 8-2 win in Game 2 in Game 2 Friday afternoon. Can a change in venue keep the Red Sox’s season alive or will Houston sweep Boston right out of the playoffs?
Houston Astros Seek Sweep, AL Championship Series Berth
Houston cruised to a pair of easy wins at home against the Red Sox, winning the two games by a collective 16-4. The Astros look to sweep the set and move on to the AL Championship Series for the first time since 2005. Houston banged out 12 hits in Game 2 with George Springer (two runs, RBI), Jose Altuve (two runs, RBI) and Carlos Correa (two runs, four RBI) each having two hits. Correa (his first) and Springer (his first) each homered in the victory for the Astros. Dallas Keuchel (1-0) picked up the win after allowing one run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
The Astros are expected to send Brad Peacock to the mound after he made 34 appearances, 21 starts, in the regular season. He is 13-2 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.189 WHIP, 57 walks and 161 strikeouts over 132 innings of work this year. Peacock picked up the win in his last outing, which was a start back on September 28 against the Red Sox. He threw five innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts in an eventual 12-2 Astros victory. Peacock is 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP, six walks and 11 strikeouts over 17 innings of work in his last three starts. He is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.154 WHIP over 13 innings in four career starts against the Red Sox. Peacock is 1-1 with an 8.53 ERA and a 1.974 WHIP over 12.2 innings in three career starts at Fenway Park.
Boston Red Sox Fighting to Stay Alive
Boston has struggled in the postseason, continuing their struggles from the final week of the regular season. The Red Sox now find themselves in a situation where they have to win or their season is over. Boston struggled to get outs early in the game and that put them in a hole they were unable to dig themselves out of again. Jackie Bradley Jr. (two RBI) and Christian Vazquez (run) each had two hits for Boston. Mookie Betts reinjured his wrist in the eighth inning and is questionable for Game 3. Drew Pomeranz (0-1) took the loss on the mound as he lasted just two plus innings: he allowed four runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Doug Fister, who was picked up back in June with the rash of injuries affecting the Red Sox’s pitching staff, takes the ball after 18 regular season appearances and 15 starts. He is 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA, a 1.384 WHIP, 38 walks and 83 strikeouts over 90.1 innings of work. Fister took the loss in his last start, which came September 29 at home against the Astros. He threw 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts in a 3-2 Red Sox loss. Fister is 0-1 with a 7.82 ERA, a 1.89 WHIP, six walks and 14 strikeouts over 12.2 innings in his last three starts. He makes his fourth career start against the Astros here: he is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP over 18.1 innings of work. Fister is 5-9 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.475 WHIP over 78.2 innings in 14 appearances, 13 starts, at Fenway Park in his career.
- Astros are 7-1 in their last 8 road games
- Astros are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record
- Astros are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. American League East
- Red Sox are 1-5 in their last 6 games on grass
- Red Sox are 1-5 in their last 6 Sunday games
- Red Sox are 0-5 in their last 5 playoff games
The Red Sox are in dire straits as they have to win three straight in order to have a chance to have their chase of a title intact. Boston has to approach them one game at a time but they have to put up a zero in the first inning, something that they’ve been unable to do in the first two games. Houston has relocated its swagger after their stumbles down the stretch that allowed Cleveland to take the top record in the American League. Peacock is a solid pitcher who really stabilized the Houston rotation after injuries took their toll. The Astros get the nod here as they sweep the series over the banged up Red Sox.
Pick: Houston Astros -138
It’s pretty telling that, with their season on the line, that the Red Sox aren’t going with Rick Porcello, but turn to Fister with their season on the line. Boston was overwhelmed in the first two games, partially due to their inability to come up with zeroes on the scoreboard early and partially due to their inability to retire Altuve, who is five of seven with two walks, three homers and four RBI in the first two games of the series. Houston has had half of their hits go for extra bases with six doubles and six homers to date. Peacock won his last three starts in the regular season and put together a solid regular season campaign.
The over is 4-0 in the Astros’ last 4 playoff games, 7-1 in their last 8 games following a win, 6-1 in their last 7 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game, 6-1 in their last 7 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game and 5-1 in their last 6 after allowing 2 runs or less in their previous game. Boston has seen the over go 7-1 in their last 8 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game, 6-1 in their last 7 games following a loss and 6-1 in their last 7 when their opponent allows 2 runs or less in their previous game. Seeing how the first two games went, this one likely goes over the total as well.