The Houston Astros should be in your MLB picks for Friday’s ALCS matchup with the Boston Red Sox – if you can get them at the right price.
Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
Friday, October 22, 2021 – 08:08 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
The Houston Astros were always supposed to beat the Boston Red Sox. They’re obviously the better team on paper in the American League Championship Series; at the same time, the Red Sox are the obvious public team, so there’s really no alternative but to bang on that trashcan lid and put Houston in your MLB picks for Game 6 this Friday night.
That’s provided you shop around. At press time, the Astros are available at a wide range of prices, from –115 at bet365 to –135 at DraftKings. That 20-cent difference means everything. We’re so close to having an arbitrage situation here; DraftKings also have Boston at +115. That’s not quite enough for us to recommend the Red Sox, but if you can get Houston at –115 or longer on the MLB lines, that’s a value pick from where I’m standing.
We Meet Again
As you might recall, I was on the Astros as –133 home favorites for Game 1 back on October 15, and they ended up winning 5-4. The Red Sox took the next two fairly easily, then Houston absolutely tore them apart in Games 4 and 5 at Fenway Park, winning by a combined score of 18-3. This is a “2-3-2” series, by the way, so Games 6 and 7 are both at Minute Maid Park. It’s a tough row to hoe for Boston.
This has to be a small bet, though. The pitching matchup for Friday is the same as it was for Game 2, which the Sox won 9-5 as +105 road dogs; Nathan Eovaldi (2.79 FIP) is due up for Boston opposite rookie Luis Garcia (3.63 FIP), who gave up five runs in one-plus innings before getting pulled. Nothing like a 45.00 ERA to get bettors excited to dump more cash on Houston.
One at The Knees
These things happen. Garcia was a useful starter for the Astros this year, albeit an unprofitable one, dropping 1.16 betting units on a team record of 16-12. Meanwhile, Eovaldi finished slightly in the black at plus-0.54 units, guiding Boston to a 19-13 record. That’s more than enough reason for us to keep our bet size conservative for Game 6.
Here’s the kicker, though: Eovaldi was called upon Wednesday night in relief for Game 5, and he was awful, coughing up four runs in 0.2 innings and taking the L in a 9-2 final for Houston (+118 away). These are the risks you take when you bring someone who’s used to starting out of the bullpen.
There’s one more important caveat we should mention, and it has to do with Garcia. He’s been dealing with some issues with his right knee, which have affected his delivery; after making a few tweaks in practice, Garcia is reportedly good to go for Friday night. We’ll see. Again, make it a small bet under these circumstances, but make it a bet on Houston at the best price on the board, and most importantly, enjoy the game.
MLB Pick: Astros –115 at Bet365