ALCS Game 5: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox odds, picks and prediction
The Houston Astros rallied late in Game 4 Tuesday to even up the best-of-seven American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox. The two meet again Wednesday with first pitch set for 5:08 p.m. ET at Fenway Park. Let's analyze the lines around the Astros vs. Red Soxodds with MLB picks and predictions.
Astros LHP Framber Valdez makes his third start of this postseason. He has allowed 6 ER in 7 IP in the first two, but in the regular season, he was 11-6 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.4 K/9 through 134 2/3 IP.
- Valdez didn't make it out of the third inning against Boston in Game 1. However, in two starts against the Red Sox back in June, he surrendered just 2 ER across 14 1/3 IP while racking up 18 punch outs.
- He posted a mediocre 7.1 K/9 on the road this season, but was much stingier with the walks (3.0 BB/9) than he was at home. In total, he put up a strong 2.88 ERA across 11 road starts.
Red Sox LHP Chris Sale has struggled in his first two playoff starts, allowing a total of 6 ER in just 3 2/3 IP. After returning from injury late in the season, Sale made nine starts and went 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9 and 11.0 K/9 through 42 2/3 IP.
- In six home starts, Sale recorded a 2.48 ERA and 11.2 K/9 to go along with four homers allowed in 29 IP.
- In nine career regular season starts against the Astros, Sale boasts a 2.20 ERA and 11.8 K/9 in 65 1/3 IP.
Astros at Red Sox odds, lines, picks and prediction
- Money line: Astros +105 (bet $100 to win $105) | Red Sox -130 (bet $130 to win $100)
- Against the spread/ATS: Astros +1.5 (-190) | Red Sox -1.5 (+155)
- Over/Under: 9.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
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Astros 6, Red Sox 4
Money line (ML)
The Astros need length from Valdez after their bullpen was forced to work 14 innings over the past two nights. He has been giving them that all season, going seven-plus innings in eight of 22 starts and at least five frames in each of his last 13 regular-season outings.
Sale's surface numbers were strong once he came back, but he wasn't his usual self as his 28.4% K% paled in comparison to the 36.7% mark he posted from 2017-2019.
He'll face a stiff test in a Houston offense that led the league in wRC+ vs lefties and whiffed at the lowest rate against them (18.3%). With plus odds, the ASTROS (+105) are the side to take in this one.
Including the playoffs, eight of the 10 meetings between these two teams this year have been decided by four runs or more. Laying nearly 2-to-1 odds for +1.5 runs is a little steep, but the recommended play is to flip it to the alternate line of ASTROS -1.5 (+160).
The total has gone over in each of the last seven playoff games for both of these teams. Given how taxed the Houston bullpen is and the fact that Sale hasn't been as dominant as usual, that trend can be expected to continue.
Look for both offenses to do their part in pushing this total OVER 9.5 (-110).
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