Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#977 Houston Astros vs.
#978 Boston Red Sox
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 7:10pm EDT
Written by Jordy

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The Boston Red Sox continue in their efforts to upend the visiting Houston Astros in Tuesday’s American League tilt. It has clearly been hard times for a Red Sox team coming into this matchup with a pitiful 5-9 home record. Meanwhile, the Astros have won 12 of their last 14 games with five of those victories coming on the road. Jose Urquidy is expected to toe the rubber as the starting pitcher opposite of Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi.

Will the Astros pound the Red Sox?

After being spoiled by the struggling Washington Nationals, the Astros will have their hands full in Tuesday’s meeting with Nathan Eovaldi on the mound. The offensive firepower isn’t what it once was in Houston, and they’ll be faced with the task of beating the top of Boston’s pitching rotation at Fenway Park.

Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy must match Eovaldi’s production in this game. If he can stave off the bats, Houston can slap on a bib in the later innings and feast on Boston’s bullpen. The Red Sox’s bullpen currently has the seventh-worst ERA in the league for a team allowing an average of 4.21 runs per game at home.

Houston might not be consistently running up the scoreboard, but they’re still packing a big stick at the plate with the team averaging the third-most home runs (1.37) and second-highest isolated power (.179).

That explosive potential is comforting for Urquidy and his relief help because there’s a cushion there if things somehow go off the rails. Urquidy is throwing a 4.40 ERA with 19 strikeouts and a 2-1 record. He’d love to catch Boston’s bats whiffing in this head-to-head meeting. Houston’s bats just need to be prepared to respond.

Will Eovaldi get his revenge?

I’m sure Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t forgotten his run-in with the Astros last season. He couldn’t forget it even if he tried considering he gave up 11 hits and five earned runs, while walking three in the process. What better chance to get even than on the mound at Fenway Park on Tuesday?

There’s plenty of gusto surrounding Houston’s power at the plate, but the same isn’t the case for their scoring consistency. They’re a middle-of-the-pack team with a .310 OPS and 4.28 run-scoring average.

Boston has struggled at the plate, but they did find life against the Texas Rangers, minus a relatively quiet effort in the series finale.

It would help if Boston’s bats could find a way to crack Urquidy and the Astros defense, but this game will likely come down to the arm of Eovaldi and the bullpen. The Red Sox’s starting righty is throwing a 3.15 ERA and 1.08 WHIP to go along with a 1-1 record. Yes, he struggled against the Astros last season, but that was only one game and a different team that’s playing out there right now. This version of the Astros is no longer the No. 1-ranked run-scoring offense in the league.

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The Astros got the best of Nathan Eovaldi last season, and they’ll do it again in Tuesday’s rematch. Jeremy Pena is still questionable with a knee injury, and Houston’s offense is often a mixed bag at times. But there’s clearly no trusting Boston’s bullpen to stand its ground, even if Eovaldi somehow manages to throw a gem against one of the best teams in the American League.

At the very least, the Astros have a puncher’s chance of putting the game away at the plate. They’ve terrorized teams with big hits, and they’ll be looking to do the same to a Red Sox team with only five wins at Fenway Park so far this season.

There isn’t nearly as much pressure on Jose Urquidy to be perfect on the mound with a bullpen throwing the third-best ERA (2.91) in the league. This Astros pitching rotation is tough, and they’re going to test the Red Sox in ways that’ll limit them just like nearly everyone else they’ve faced so far this season.

The pitching has been mediocre in Boston, and the offense has been even worse. I’m rolling with the Astros in this one.

Prediction: Houston Astros (+1.5)

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Boston is already struggling to generate runs consistently, and they’ll be facing an Astros team allowing an average of 3.17 runs per game. Only the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have a better run-scoring allowance defensively. The pitching has been the strong part of this Astros team, and it isn’t going to let up in a road meeting with a struggling Red Sox team slashing .235/.290/.354.

Jose Urquidy will do his job in ensuring this game doesn’t get out of hand, and Houston’s surprisingly talented bullpen will do the rest. Give me the under on Tuesday.  

Prediction: Under (9)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.