Houston Astros (2-1 SU, 2-1 PL, 3-0 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (1-2 SU, 1-2 PL, 3-0 O/U)
NFL: Monday, October 9, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EST
The Line: Houston Astros -129. Total: 9.5.
The Houston Astros will get another shot at clinching this American League Division Series when they visit the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon. Houston took the first two games at home before failing to wrap things up on Sunday. The Red Sox remained alive and will look to do so again with Rick Porcello on the mound.
Yes way, Jose
The Astros took one on the chin on Sunday, losing to Boston 10-3 as the series moved to Monday. But the loss did nothing to slow down the torrid pace being set by Houston second baseman Jose Altuve. The 5’6” MVP candidate added three more hits, finishing 3-for-4 with a walk. Through three playoff games against the Red Sox, Altuve is a ridiculous 8-for-11 with three home runs (all in the opener), four RBIs, five runs scored, and three walks.
Right-hander Charlie Morton is taking the mound for Houston on Monday. Morton went 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA in the regular season. The 33-year-old was especially outstanding in September, when he compiled a 4-1 record and a squeaky clean 2.54 ERA. Morton’s most recent start came against none other than the Red Sox on Sept. 29, when he allowed two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings of work and picked up the win in a 3-2 victory.
Flipping the script
In the first two contests at Minute Maid Park in Houston, the Red Sox did not do much at the plate and also failed to keep the Astros’ bats in check. On Sunday, the scene was reversed (Boston had home-field advantage) and so were the results (the Red Sox crossed the plate 10 times and limited the opposition to just three runs). Hitters five through eight in Boston’s lineup all produced multiple hits, including four by designated hitter Hanley Ramirez and three by first baseman Mitch Moreland.
Rick Porcello will oppose Morton on Monday. The right-hander worked during garbage time in Game 1 this past Thursday, going one inning (the eighth) without allowing either a hit or a run. In the regular season, Porcello compiled an 11-17 record to go along with a 4.65 ERA. The 28-year-old slumped down the stretch, with a 5.95 ERA in five September starts.
The Houston Astros are:
- 24-9 in their last 33 overall
- 7-2 in their last nine road games
- 7-2 in their last nine games against teams with winning records
The Boston Red Sox are:
- 2-5 in their last seven overall
- 2-5 in their last seven games against the American League West
- 1-5 in their last six playoff games
Porcello’s only previous start against the Astros this season came in Houston on June 17 and the results were disastrous. He surrendered seven runs on 10 hits in six innings of work as Boston got blown out 7-1. The Astros are 24-9 in their last 33 overall, 7-2 in their last nine on the road, 7-2 in their last nine against winning opponents, 5-1 in Morton’s last six starts, and 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Boston is 2-5 in its last seven overall, 2-5 in its last seven against the American League West, 2-5 in its last seven against opponents with winning percentages over .600, and 1-5 in its last six in the playoffs. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: Houston Astros -129
The winning team has scored at least eight runs in each of the three contests so far in this series. Boston may be hard-pressed to stop that trend. Porcello is in a slump and the team’s relief corps is thin, so the starter is going to have the pressure on to turn things around and eat up some innings. Doug Fister lasted only 1.1 innings on Sunday and gave up three runs in the first inning before Boston stormed back to take control of the game. David Price went four innings in relief and the Red Sox used a total of five pitchers. The over is 9-2 in the Astros’ last 11 overall, 11-4 in their last 15 on the road, 20-7-1 in their last 28 against the American League East, and 5-0 in their last five playoff games. It is also 8-2 in Boston’s last 10 overall, 6-2 in its last eight at home, and 6-2 in its last eight against opponents with winning percentages over .600. Additionally, the over is 12-4 in the last 16 meetings between the two teams and 8-2 in Houston’s last 10 at Boston. Look for this one to go over the total.