MLB Pick: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox
Time: 4:05 PM ET
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Listed Pitchers: Charlie Morton (Hou) & Eduardo Rodriguez (Bos)
TV: FS1, SportsNet Southwest, NESN
Moneyline: Astros +100/Red Sox -110
The Astros and Red Sox are headed for a possible playoff showdown, but there’s still a bit of work to be done, like playing out the rest of a three-game series at Fenway Park. How are we playing Saturday’s contest with our daily free MLB picks?
MLB Betting Line
Saturday’s MLB betting odds opened Boston at around -120 for this game, with an over/under of 9 runs. The early betting action then dipped that line about a dime, to around -110.
The Sox could also be found getting upwards of +170 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Houston grabbed game 1 of this series Friday night 6-3. The Astros trailed Friday 2-0 through six innings, then scored three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth off the Boston bullpen for the win as -110 favorites on the MLB betting line.
Friday’s game also sneaked over a total of 8.5 runs.
So Houston owns a six-game winning streak, outscoring foes 35-12 in the process.
The Sox, meanwhile, just had a three-game winning streak snapped.
At 88-53 overall the Astros lead the AL West by 3.5 games over second-place Oakland.
At 97-45 the Red Sox lead the AL East by 8.5 games over the second-place Yankees.
Houston leads the season series with Boston three games to two.
Lefty Rodriguez (12-3, 3.34) by our strict standards, is only 6/20 on quality starts this season, but some of that has to do with a short leash. Last Saturday, in his first start after doing seven weeks on the DL, Rodriguez allowed one run and three hits through 5 2/3 innings against the White Sox, with 12 strikeouts. And in his last three starts before going on the DL back in July, he threw 17 straight innings of scoreless ball. On the season the Red Sox are a fantastic 17-3 with Rodriguez, with unders going 12-8.
In his most recent start against the Astros, back in September of last season, Rodriguez got bopped for five runs in less than two innings of a 12-2 Boston loss.
Morton (13-3, 3.14) is coming off a short stint on the DL to make his first start in 11 days. On the season he’s 15/26 on quality starts, but 0 for his last two. Last time out he gave up three runs and walked four in 4 2/3 innings against Oakland, and just before that he got touched for six runs in five innings against Seattle. For the year Houston is 15-11 with Morton, with unders going 16-10.
In one start previously this season against the Red Sox Morton gave up six runs and nine hits, including a couple of homers, through 5 1/3 innings of a 9-3 Astros loss.
Boston owns that gaudy record with Rodriguez, but head-to-head we might give Morton the edge. Then again, neither has a tremendous recent track record against Saturday’s opponents. For handicapping purposes, we’re calling this pitching match-up a wash.
Saturday’s Batting Splits
Houston owns a .277/.342/.464 batting average/OBP/slugging percentage split against left-handed pitching this season.
Boston owns a .272/.340/.470 split against right-handed pitching this year.
We gotta call the splits with the sticks a push here, too.
The Astros bullpen owns a 2.93 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
The Sox pen owns a 3.54 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. This unit also got touched up for six runs Friday night.
We’ll give Houston the check-mark in the comparison of the bullpens.
Unders are 32-30 in games played at Fenway Park this year, which are averaging 9.7 total runs per.
Overs are 4-1 in Astros-Red Sox games this season.
Free MLB Picks
Boston owns a comfortable lead in its division race and in the race for the best record in the American League. The Sox could take a couple of days off and probably still coast into the top playoff seed. Houston, meanwhile, still has work to do, holding off the A’s in the West. As for this game we like Morton and the Astros bullpen, so we’ll take Houston at YouWager for our free MLB pick for Saturday.