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Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
MLB: Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 2:10 PM EST
The Red Sox had won two in a row before losing Game 1 of this series. They scored 14 runs in the two wins before only scoring three runs in the loss to the Astros to start this AL series. Boston has gotten back over .500 after a bad start, but are still several games out of first place in the AL East. They send Eduardo Rodriguez to the hill in this series finale and he has been roughed up in his last two starts.
The Astros are the opposite of the Sox in that they had lost two in a row before taking the first game of the series. They have a comfortable lead in the AL West and are tied with the Minnesota Twins for the most wins in MLB. Houston ranks in the top five in the Majors in both runs scored and team ERA and while the team is loaded their big gun in George Springer, who leads the AL in HR and RBI, injured his hamstring in Game 1 of this series and is likely headed to the DL.
Rodriguez looks to regroup
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3 5.43 ERA) looks to regroup in this game after a couple of less than stellar starts. In his last start he was lit up for six runs in five innings and gave up three HR in a 10-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox had won his previous seven starts, but in his last two starts he has given up 11 runs in 11 innings of work. While Rodriguez has struggled in his last two outings Boston has won 13 of his last 17 road starts and they have won seven of his last 10 starts facing a team with a winning record. However, overall the Sox have lost five of their last six games facing a team with a winning record.
No doubter. pic.twitter.com/xs0hRAtdYw
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 25, 2019
The Red Sox have a balanced offense that ranks in the top five in MLB in runs scored. Mitch Mooreland leads the team in HR and RBI, Rafael Devers leads the club batting over .315, and reigning MVP Mookie Betts has recently hit safely in seven of eight games. Xander Bogarts hit his 9th HR in the Game 1 loss of the series and is batting over .310 in May.
Verlander has been great
For Houston, in this series finale, they send Justin Verlander (8-1 2.24 ERA) to the hill and he has been great this season. He ranks 2nd in the AL in wins, first in innings pitched, 2nd in strikeouts, 2nd in ERA, and first in WHIP. He had a stellar last outing where he only gave up one run on one hit in eight innings in a 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. The Astros have won eight of his last nine starts including his last four. In Verlander’s last three starts he has simply been lights out only allowing two runs on four hits with 29 strikeouts in 23 innings.
The loss of Springer for a while is a big blow to the Astros, but they still have three other players that have in double digits in HR and three with at least 33 RBI. The lineup will be facing lefty Rodriguez in this game and the club has won 23 of their last 32 games facing a left-hand starter.
The Houston Astros are:
- 6-1 in their last 7 vs. American League East
- 35-16 in their last 51 home games
- 23-9 in their last 32 games vs. a left-handed starter
The Boston Red Sox are:
- 1-5 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Even without the injured Springer, I have to go with the Astros in this one and it is not hard to see why. Verlander has been sensational for the season and even better than that in his last three starts while Rodriguez has been shelled in his last two outings. Rodriguez will have a decent start in this one, but that will not get it done facing Verlander, who will be lights out yet again. Houston will take this series finale behind a strong outing from their Ace.
Prediction: PICK: Astros
Full-Game Total Pick
The total for the last five games between these teams has gone Under every time and there is no need to deviate from that trend. Verlander will have another great start and Rodriguez will have a decent one, which is much better than his last two. This will be a low scoring affair, so take the Under for this series finale.
Prediction: PICK: Under