Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros Game 2 Odds & Predictions

by | Oct 16, 2021 | mlb

Boston Red Sox (96-72) vs. Houston Astros (99-68)
When: 4:20 p.m., Saturday, October 16
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Moneyline: BOS -105/HOU -115 (BAS)
Runline: Red Sox +1.5/Astros -1.5
Total: 8.5

Starting Pitchers: Nathan Eovaldi (12-9-1, 3.69 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) vs. Luis Garcia (11-8 3.53 ERA 1.20 WHIP)

Pitcher Parade

Here’s something you might want to consider as the series goes deeper: these teams plan to use a lot of pitchers. Both the Red Sox and Astros each used eight pitchers in Friday’s contest, which means that these teams aren’t exactly worried about overtaxing their bullpens.

What does that mean for bettors? It means that overs are likely to be the play the longer that this series goes. If these managers have a quick hook with their pitchers, they’re likely to force relievers into a lot of tight situations, and the more pressure situations a pitcher faces, the more likely he is to make one mistake and turn an under into an over.

This could be magnified in this game, as the early start time means that there will be less than 20 hours of turnaround time between pitching in Game 1 and pitching in Game 2. If the starters don’t last very long in this game, this could be another high-scoring contest.

Houston Hit Party

Boston hasn’t figured out how to stop the Astros’ bats, in large part because Houston has the best offense in the game. The Astros picked up where they left off in the regular season in Game 1, notching at least five runs against Boston pitching for the sixth time in eight contests. In their past four matchups with the Red Sox, the Astros have scored 28 runs and 47 in eight games against Boston for the entire season.

The Red Sox have been forced to counter by trying to outscore Houston instead of hold the score down, which has proven a tough way for Boston to play. Friday night was just the third time the Red Sox had scored at least four runs against Astro pitching, as Houston has mostly controlled Boston’s offense. For the year, the Red Sox are 2-0 against the Astros when they score at least five runs and 0-6 when they don’t. Considering that Kike Hernandez and Rafael Devers were the only ones with more than one hit on Friday for Boston, the offense still isn’t getting it done for the BoSox.

Missing Bats

Nathan Eovaldi really needs to be missing bats to be at his most effective. When he’s been able to take the mound, make batters miss and stay in the game for five to seven innings, the Red Sox have been piling up the wins. Over his past 10 starts, Boston is 9-1 and the one thing all of those wins had in common was Eovaldi’s strikeout numbers.

In each win, Eovaldi recorded anywhere from seven to nine K’s, all while lasting at least five innings. Not once did he give up more than three earned runs in any of those starts, and when he did give up three, the Red Sox’ hitters came up with eight and bailed him out.

But Eovaldi is facing two problems here: the Astros’ patience at the plate and the Red Sox’s lack of patience with their arms. Alex Cora might have had a slower hook in this game after using eight pitchers had the Red Sox won the opener, but a loss means that he can’t afford to wait out Eovaldi if he has a slow start. Boston cannot afford to go down 0-2 to this Houston team, so look for the Red Sox to see if Eovaldi is missing bats early in the game. If he’s getting strikeouts, Boston is in good shape. If he’s pitching to contact, jump on Houston.

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Betting Trends

  • The Red Sox are 7-2 in their past nine contests.
  • The Red Sox are 10-3 in their past 13 playoff games as an underdog.
  • The Astros are 5-0 in their past five home playoff games.
  • The Astros are 6-1 in their past seven games overall.
  • The over is 6-1 in the Red Sox’s past seven games overall.
  • The over is 6-0 in the Red Sox’s past six games against the AL West.
  • The under is 6-2 in the Astros’ past eight against the AL East.
  • The under is 6-2 in the Astros’ past eight ALCS games.
  • The Astros have won six of the past eight matchups in Houston.
  • The under is 7-2 in the past nine matchups between the teams in Houston.

Weather Report

There’s a better chance the roof stays open in this one, as temperatures will be a more reasonable 74 degrees. Winds will blow at 12 miles per hour in from right field, which could help the pitchers.

Dan’s Pick

Houston’s been hitting well against Boston, and I can’t see Eovaldi getting the strikeouts that he needs to keep the Astros from putting up numbers. This looks like another game where Houston breaks out, and the fact that the Astros have played so well at home tells me what I need to know.

I’ll take the Astros to win, and I might pair with the over.