Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Betting Pick

Ryan K

The Boston Red Sox are in Houston to face AlexBregman and the Astros. Saturday’s game will be the middle game of a three-game series that is following up a 3-game series last week in Fenway, of which the Astros won 2 of 3 games. The Astros have been playing great baseball in the month of May and it shows in their 34-18 record. The Red Sox have started to look more like what we expected to see this season, but their poor start makes them only 27-24. The Astros are -120 favorites in this game over the Red Sox  (+110).

Astros Keep Surging

The pitching matchup is always the first thing I look at when breaking down baseball games and this one is a good one. BradPeacock is throwing for the Astros and he has been pretty up and down over the course of the year with a few really bad outings and then some stellar ones to draw you back in. Peacock is a talented pitcher that has never been able to be consistent, which is something we see rather often in baseball. This matchup vs. the Red Sox is not an inspiring one, especially since J.D. Martinez returned to the lineup last night after missing a few games due to back injuries. Martinez is not playing like his MVP caliber season last year, but I think that was more of an outlier in his career. Martinez is an elite hitter, but he’s not quite in the conversation of THE best hitter in baseball, like he was last season. The most interesting thing that I could find on Peacock is his decreasing swinging strike rate.

Peacock has been on the Astros for 7 seasons, but in the last 3 seasons, we have seen his stuff look and play much better. I think that a lot of this has to do with the analytics department of the Astros being one of the best in baseball. They have notably increased the productivity of guys like Cole, Verlander, and Peacock in the last few seasons. Peacock’s numbers have fallen off a bit since last season. Some of this may be able to be written off as variance or the fact that it is harder to generate swinging strikes as a starter than it is out of the bullpen. Either way, it is worth noting that Peacock’s raw stuff hasn’t been quite as dominant as I would’ve expected this season.

Price for Boston

DavidPrice has been really good this season. I am actually surprised that he has been this good. DavidPrice is striking out 10 guys per 9 innings, walking less than 3, and he has the highest swinging strike rate of his entire career. Maybe this number will come down a bit, but it is pretty significantly higher than recent years. From 2015-2019, his SS% is 11.9, 11.9, 11.7, 9.6, and now 13.0.

I think that I would expect this to decrease over time, but it is still a really impressive mark after dropping about 2% last season. This is a bad matchup for Price because of all of the right-handed power in the lineup. Both of these teams are really right-handed heavy, especially with their best few bats, which means that Peacock is much better off than Price when looking at their splits. The loss of GeorgeSpringer will help Price avoid another powerful bat at the top of the order, but the offense is still a scary one.

Astros Figure a Way

These offenses are close enough that I would almost call them equal. The Astros WRC+ is 128 while the Red sox are at 103, but I think that will even out over the course of the season. The Astros bullpen is also the better unit here, with probably at least the 2 best arms if not the third and fourth as well. Overall, I think the Astros are the better side in this game because they are a deeper and more well rounded team. The line of Astros -120 is a fair one, but I would much rather take Houston here.

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