MLB Picks: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox
Houston Astros (30-15) vs. Boston Red Sox (23-21), Saturday, 5/17/19
Time: 7:15 pm ET
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Listed Pitchers: Corbin Martin (1-0, 3.38 ERA, 0.75 WHIP) vs. Hector Velazquez (1-2, 3.95, 1.28)
Moneyline: Astros -115/Red Sox +105 (5Dimes)
The Astros and Red Sox continue their rematch of last year’s American League Championship Series with a prime-time Saturday night TV game at Fenway Park. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?
MLB Betting Odds
Saturday’s MLB betting odds opened Boston -105 over Houston, with an over/under of 10.5 runs. Early betting action then flipped the Astros into -115 favorites, and bumped the total to 11.
Astros vs. Red Sox Set-Up
Houston grabbed the opener of this series Friday night 3-1, winning as a -135 road favorite on the MLB betting line. The Astros trailed the Sox 1-0 into the top of the eighth inning but put up a three-spot and held on from there for the victory.
With Friday’s win, Houston now owns a nine-game winning streak. At 30-15 overall, the best record in the Majors, the Astros lead the AL West by 8.5 games over the Angels and Rangers.
Even with Friday’s loss, Boston is 12-4 over its last 16 games. At 23-21 overall the Red Sox sit in third place in the AL East, 4.5 games behind the division-leading Yankees.
This series is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last year the Astros took the season series from the Sox four games to three, but Boston beat Houston four games to one in the American League Championship Series.
Saturday’s Starting Arms
Velazquez is 0/6 on quality starts this season because he has yet to throw more than five innings in any one outing. Last Sunday he held Seattle to two runs and two hits through five frames of an 11-2 Sox victory. And over his last three “starts” he’s allowed five runs and seven hits through 10 innings.
Boston is 4-2 in games Velazquez has started this year, 3-0 over his last three “starts.”
In his only career start against the Astros back in late 2017 Velazquez allowed no runs and three hits through four innings of a 4-3 Red Sox defeat.
Rookie righty Martin will be making his second career ML appearance Saturday. Last Sunday, in his ML debut, Martin held Texas to two runs and three hits through 5 1/3 innings, with nine strikeouts and one walk, in a 15-5 Houston victory.
Martin was taken by the Astros in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft. He then proceeded to go 10-4 with a 2.31 in two-plus seasons in the Minors, posting a 1.48 ERA through 24 1/3 innings of work at Triple-A Round Rock this Spring.
Unfamiliarity seemed to help Martin in his start against the Rangers; it could play a decisive role Saturday, too, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Saturday’s Batting Splits
Houston is batting .276/.344/.498 against right-handed pitching this season. This lineup has also scored at least five runs five of its last six games, even with Jose Altuve on the DL.
Boston is batting .260/.349/.422 against RH pitching this season. This lineup has also scored at least six runs six times in its last 10 games.
The Astros bullpen owns a 2.82 ERA this season and a 1.04 WHIP, both of which rank No. 1 in the Majors, while converting 13 of 16 save opportunities.
The Sox pen owns a 3.83 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP while converting 10 of 16 save chances.
- Unders are 23-19 in Astros games this season.
- Overs are 26-17 in Red Sox games this season.
- Overs are 13-8 in games played at Fenway Park this season.
- Overs finished 9-3 in Astros-Red Sox games last season, including that ALCS.
Free MLB Pick
Saturday’s pitching match-up seems about a push, but Houston owns edges in the splits with the sticks and in the bullpen comparison. So while we don’t like going along with the betting flow, we’re taking the Astros here for our free MLB pick for Saturday.
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