MLB Picks Today: Astros at Red Sox ALDS Game 3
Can Boston Make Magic Happen Back At Fenway?
The Houston Astros ended their regular season last Sunday with a series win against the Red Sox, taking three of four. That series didn't mean much, but Sunday's afternoon game is a whole different story. Down 2-0 in the ALDS, Boston has their backs to the wall in this must win game after losing both Game 1 and Game 2 by the same 8-2 score.
They need a successful two game homestand here before heading back to Houston for the decisive Game 5. Houston comes into this game as small to moderate away favorites.
We had the Astros in our last article about this series, and with Saturday's NLDS games completed (in which we went 1-1), our new record stands at 6-2.
This game is quite an interesting one, because Peacock was just in Boston last week and got the win, while Fister lost during that series.
This being the postseason though, Fister has the advantage, as he's 4-1 with a record lowest 1.78 ERA among playoff starters with at least 50 innings. It's the Red Sox offense that's the problem here and will ultimately lose them this series. Only hitting .227 in the first two games isn't enough against a potent Astros offense that is hitting .313 off Fister.
Raw numbers indicate the Astros have the value, but of course cherry pickers can find an edge or two to make Boston seem more enticing. While Peacock's numbers against them are troubling, the 'Stros offense will more than make up for it. And while career numbers are valuable sometimes, trends are more favorable, and Peacock and Fister are trending in two different directions. The same with the Astros and Red Sox offense.
Take the Houston Astros at -140 at BODOG
Astros at Red Sox ALDS Game 3
The Astros are continuing their monstrous offensive year in this postseason. After leading the league in most runs scored with 896, they are also 24 for 70 (.343) with six home runs in the first two games of the series. Every player in the Astros' order has recorded at least one hit.
Carlos Beltran didn't start against Boston's lefties, but will be the DH for this match. One trend that is against them though, is that the Astros are only 7-15 in their last 22 games at Fenway.
If the Houston offense wasn't enough, Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA) has been excellent this season. He held opposition to five hits or less in his September starts, and held opponents to two runs or less in his last seven contests. The 29-year-old even just defeated Boston at Fenway last week, only giving up two runs on four hits in five innings pitched.
The Astros are 12-4 in Peacock's last 16 road starts as well. His problems are in his longterm numbers against the Boston Red Sox. The right hander is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA against them in his career. In Boston, he's 1-1 with an 8.53 ERA, allowing three homers in just 12.2 innings.
Dustin Pedroia has decent numbers against Peacock, 3 for 8 (.375), but the rest of the current squad is only hitting .218 against him in 55 ABs.
Boston's playoff woes go back to last season, where they lost three straight and are continuing the streak now at five postseason games in a row. Including last year's losses, their starting rotation of Sale, Pomeranz, Buchholz, Porcello, and Price have a combined ERA of 11.09. Speaking of Sale, manager John Farrell confirmed that the ace will be availanle out of the bullpen Sunday.
Doug Fister (5-9, 4.88 ERA) could be in for a rough outing, but it's not all bad.
- Pros: Fister has some postseason experience, enjoying a 4-2 record with a 2.60 ERA in nine games, eight of which were starts. The righty also had a stretch in late August and early September where he only allowed 5 runs in 30 innings.
- Cons: Fister suffered a loss to the Astros just last week, and their squad is hitting a combined .313 against him. That lead to his awful final four games where he went 0-2 with a 9.18 ERA.
Jose Altuve, a batting beast against any pitcher, is 3 for 7 (.429) against Fister, while Beltran, who will start this game as DH, is 5 for 13 (.385) with a home run. Just last week, Alex Bregman went 3 for 3 against him, batting a long ball in the process.
We just might see a repeat before the memory even fades.
Do you agree with our pick? Or will Peacock get his feathers flustered in Fenway? Let us know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to share!
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