Red Sox vs. Astros ALCS Game 1 Betting Analysis

 

Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros bats against the Chicago White Sox during game 4 of the ALDS. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

Michael Brantley of the Astros bats against the White Sox during Game 4 of the ALDS. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

 

As the bigger villains in this story, the Houston Astros are the right MLB pick for Friday’s ALCS opener versus the Boston Red Sox.

 

Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros

Friday 15th October 2021 (8:07 p.m. ET, FOX) at Minute Maid Park

 

Cheaters never prosper – unless it’s Major League Baseball you’re talking about. The two teams behind the sign-stealing scandal of the late ‘10s, the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, have made it all the way to the American League Championship Series. One of them will go on to the World Series, and maybe win another title just a few short years after getting caught. That’s baseball for you.

The Astros are the more hated of the two teams. The scandal didn’t tar the Red Sox quite as heavily, and they’re one of the public darlings on the MLB odds board, so Houston might have some betting value for Game 1 of the ALCS this Friday. They’re –133 home faves at BetMGM as we go to press, which does look like a bargain price – depending on whom the Sox choose as their starting pitcher.

 

Sale For Sale

It’s probably going to be Chris Sale (3.69 FIP). Nothing is official yet as I write this, but it’s widely assumed Sale will get the nod Friday night, and that might be exactly where Houston can take advantage. Sale started just nine games for Boston during the regular season after returning from Tommy John surgery. He wasn’t awful by any means, but he wasn’t the same guy who made the All-Star team seven years in a row before getting hurt.

He’s also got rocked for five runs in the only inning he’s pitched in the postseason. He started Game 2 of the ALDS versus the Tampa Bay Rays, who somehow managed to lose that game 14-6, then drop a pair of nail-biters at Fenway Park to lose the series. Boston’s bullpen is good but not great – although it is better than Houston’s – and another short outing from Sale could doom them. He’s only completed six full innings once this year.

No. 2 With A Bullet The Astros were a bit slow to announce their own starting pitcher, but it’ll be Framber Valdez (4.01 FIP) taking the hill, and there’s extra weight on his shoulders now that ace Lance McCullers Jr. is out indefinitely with forearm issues. Valdez was essentially a break-even pitcher for the ‘Stros in his first full non-pandemic year as a starter, leading his team to a 13-9 record and a deficit of minus-0.59 units against the MLB lines.

His ALDS Game 2 appearance went better than Sale’s, but Valdez still allowed the Chicago White Sox to score four runs in 4.1 innings. Houston ended up winning 9-4. Both these starters have been off since last Friday, and the bullpens will be fresh for Game 1, so aside from Sale’s recent form, that doesn’t give us many angles to exploit for our MLB picks.

It basically boils down to a matchup between the best hitting team in the majors, the Astros (.339 OBP), and a very good team in Boston (.328 OBP, No. 7 overall). I’m definitely leaning towards Houston here, but it has to be a small bet under these circumstances. Baseball has been very, very good to the Red Sox lately.

 

MLB Pick: Astros ML (-133) at BetMGM

Yankees vs. Red Sox American League Wild Card Game Best Bets

Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees. Jim Rogash/Getty Images/AFP

Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees. Jim Rogash/Getty Images/AFP

Classic rivals clash on Tuesday for the right to face the Rays in the first round of the postseason. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 

American League Wild Card Game

Tuesday, October 05, 2021 – 08:08 PM EDT at Fenway Park

I have to be honest, to me neither team deserves to be in the postseason and this is coming from a Yankees fan. The Yankees put together the following records at differents points of their rollercoaster season:

5-10
23-9
5-13
7-2
1-7
35-11
7-15
9-3

The Red Sox, on the other hand, were recently swept by the Yankees in three games at Fenway Park, lost two out of three against the weak Orioles and barely beat the Nationals on Sunday to secure a three-game sweep in Washington and the right to host the Yankees in this crucial game.

The Yankees are going with Gerrit Cole (2.92 FIP), while the Red Sox respond with Nathan Eovaldi (2.79 FIP). The Yankees went 16-14 in Cole’s 30 starts, dropping a massive 12.3 units and the Red Sox were up 2.6 units on a 19-13 record in Eovaldi’s 32 starts.

Gerrit Cole (16-8, 3.23 ERA, 1.06 WHIP), the first Yankee pitcher to lead the American League in wins since CC Sabathia in 2010, went just 3-2 with a 5.13 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in his last six starts. Cole gave up five earned runs on nine hits (two home runs) with six strikeouts and zero walks over six innings to get a no-decision in a 6-5 loss against the Blue Jays last Wednesday and he went 2 -2 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP and a complete game in four starts against them this season. The right-hander allowed three earned runs on five hits (one home run) with six strikeouts and three walks over six innings in an 8-3 win in his last start against them on September 24th.

Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) threw six scoreless innings of four-hit ball with seven strikeouts and one walk in a 6-0 win against the Orioles on Wednesday. Eovaldi went 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in his last six starts and 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in six starts against the Yankees this season. The right-hander lost the September 24th game against Cole and the Yankees that we mentioned above when he gave up seven earned runs on seven hits (one home run) with zero strikeouts and two walks over just 2 2/3 innings.

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Padres vs. Dodgers MLB Picks: Is San Diego Dangerous as a Potential Spoiler?

Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a must-win game when they host the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT – 09:40 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers are two games behind the Giants for first place in the National League West and they would love to avoid playing a Wild Card game, so this contest means a lot to them. The results are not important to the reeling Padres anymore but they have a hand in affecting the National League West outcome. How will they fare as spoilers?

The Padres will give the ball to Yu Darvish (3.91 FIP), while Walker Buehler (3.25 FIP) takes the hill for the Dodgers. On paper, the Dodgers have a favorable matchup, as they’re 20-11 in Buehler’s 31 starts but they’re break-even (+0 units). The Padres, on the other hand, are down 3 units on a 17-12 record in Darvish’s 29 starts.

Yu Darvish (8-10, 4.21 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) is winless since September 8th and the Padres have lost his last eight road starts. The right-hander gave up four earned runs on three hits (one home run) with seven strikeouts and three walks over 5 1/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 7-6 home win against the Giants last Thursday. The current Dodgers roster is 22-for-133 (.128) against Darvish. Max Muncy is 2-for-11 (.182) with one RBI.

Walker Buehler (14-4, 2.58 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) struggled at Coors Field last Wednesday, allowing five earned runs on seven hits (one home run) with two strikeouts and zero walks over just 3 2/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 10-5 loss against the Rockies. The right-hander is just 1-2 with a 7.32 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP in his last four starts. Fernando Tatis Jr. is 6-for-19 (.316) with three home runs and four RBIs against Buehler.

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Mariners vs. Athletics MLB Picks: Should We Put Our Faith in Gonzales?

 

Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFP

Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFP

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics have a must-win game on Tuesday night. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – 09:40 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum

In Marco We Trust!

Time is running out and both teams need this victory. Oakland is two games behind Toronto for the second Wild Card spot in the American League while Seattle is three games out. The Mariners and A’s aren’t exactly mashing the ball and while the Athletics have better numbers in five of seven key categories over the last month, the Mariners have a higher walk rate and they’ve hit more home runs.

Stats over the last 30 days:

Athletics

.731 OPS, 16th-best

Mariners

.701 OPS, 22nd-best

Athletics

.316 wOBA, 15th-best

Mariners

.306 wOBA, 21st-best

Athletics

104 wRC+, 13th-best

Mariners

98 wRC+, 16th-best

Athletics

19.4 K%, 5th-lowest

Mariners

22.1 K%, 13th-lowest

Athletics

8.1 BB%, 17th-highest

Mariners

9.4 BB%, 6th-highest

Athletics

.158 ISO, 21st-highest

Mariners

.150 ISO, 21st-highest

Athletics

28 Home Runs, 22nd-best

Mariners

31 Home Runs, 20th-best

The Mariners will give the ball to Marco Gonzales (5.32 FIP), while Paul Blackburn (5.10 FIP) takes the hill for the A’s. On paper, the Mariners have a favorable matchup, as they’re 13-9 in Gonzales’ 22 starts, earning 4.8 units. The A’s on the other hand, are down 0.1 units on a 3-3 record in Blackburn’s six starts.

Marco Gonzales (8-5, 4.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) allowed three earned runs on three hits (one home run) with seven strikeouts and two walks over six innings to get a no-decision in a 9-4 loss against the Red Sox last Wednesday. He is 1-0 with a 3.45 ERA and an 0.99 WHIP in three starts against the Athletics this season. The current A’s lineup is 59-for-223 (.256) against Gonzales and Matt Olson is 10-for-36 (.278) with five home runs and seven RBIs against him.

Paul Blackburn (1-2, 4.94 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) is coming off his first win of the season last Thursday after giving up just two earned runs on six hits (one home run) with three strikeouts and two walks over five innings in a 7-2 victory against the Royals. Blackburn allowed two earned runs on five hits (one home run) with five strikeouts and zero walks over 5 2/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 5-3 loss against the Mariners on August 23rd. He has to be careful with Mitch Haniger, who is 3-for-6 with two home runs and three RBIs against him.

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Padres vs. Giants MLB Picks: Should You Fade Arrieta in San Francisco?

Anthony DeSclafani #26 of the San Francisco Giants.   Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

Anthony DeSclafani #26 of the San Francisco Giants. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

The San Diego Padres have a must-win game when they visit the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and MLB picks.

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 – 09:45 PM EDT at Oracle Park

Can Arrieta Help the Padres on Tuesday? 

The San Diego Padres were supposed to fight for the National League West title with the Dodgers but making the postseason won’t be easy, as they will have to play a win-or-go-home Wild Card game where anything can happen. The San Francisco Giants, on the other hand, are the biggest surprise of the season, and they need this game to keep their distance from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres also can’t lose on Tuesday, with teams like the Reds, Phillies, Cardinals and Mets all waiting for them to collapse. San Diego scored just four runs while getting swept in their three-game series against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium last weekend and the Giants beat them 9-1 on Monday. Their 73 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) in September ranks 28th in the majors and they’re 27th with a .276 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) in that span.

The Giants have won eight straight games and they rank third with a .329 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) and fourth in Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) at 108. Brandon Belt, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Crawford lead the way on offense, all with 20 home runs or more and overall, the Giants have 10 players with at least 10 home runs.

The Padres will give the ball to Jake Arrieta (6.09 FIP), while the Giants turn to Anthony DeSclafani (3.75 FIP). This matchup favors the Giants, who are up 11 units behind DeSclafani this year while going 18-9 in his starts. Arrieta’s teams are 0-10 in his last 10 starts. Overall the Cubs and Padres are 1-12 in his last 13 starts and he’s cost them 9.3 units this season. The Padres are 0-2 in his two starts with them this year, down 2.45 units.

Jake Arrieta (5-12, 7.04 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) allowed three earned runs on three hits (one home run) with three strikeouts and one walk over five innings to get a no-decision in a 6-3 home loss against the Astros last Friday and he’s now 0-1 with an 8.89 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in 8 1/3 innings over two starts with the Padres this season. The current Giants lineup is 23-for-117 (.247) against him but he gave up six earned runs on six hits (two home runs) with one strikeout and two walks over just two innings in an 8-5 loss against them on June 4th when he was with the Cubs.

Anthony DeSclafani (11-6, 3.33 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) allowed three earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk over 4 1/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 7-4 road win against the Rockies last Wednesday and he’s after his first win since August 13th. The current Padres lineup is 24-for-113 (.162) against DeSclafani. Fernando Tatis Jr. is just 1-for-9 (.111) with one home run against him. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in three starts against the Padres this season.

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