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The significance of this game is self-evident. A victory here effectively clinches the series for Boston, since a 3-1 deficit is almost difficult to recover. A Houston win ensures that the Astros will play the rest of the series on their home field, which is a significant advantage. The Red Sox lost 3-6 in the season series versus Houston, but those games are now irrelevant. Because this is the only series that counts, both teams will play as if it were.
The odds for Tuesday’s game have been set as follows by the bookies.
MLB Odds: Astros vs. Red Sox
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ML (+110) Houston Astros
ML Boston Red Sox (-130)
a total of ten runs (-110)
less than ten runs (-110)
Why the Astros Have a Chance to Win
Houston had a strong case for being the greatest team in baseball heading into the playoffs, thanks in large part to their pitching. When starting pitcher Zack Greinke enters the game, the Astros will keep their pitching edge. While Greinke didn’t have a fantastic finish to the regular season, there’s reason to think he’ll be able to put together a strong performance in this one. The right-hander has put up decent postseason statistics, with a 4.18 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in his playoffs career. Greinke also permits just a 6.5 percent barrel percentage, which is extremely low. The Red Sox as a team throw the ball up at an alarmingly high percentage, so Greinke’s edge is welcome.
Houston’s lethal attack has a significant edge against opponent Nick Pivetta. Over the course of the season, Pivetta was average at best, but he finished on a huge cold streak. The right-hander has a 4.97 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in his past seven outings. Pivetta is just outmatched in this situation, and it’s easy to picture the Astros pounding him while he’s on the mound.
Why the Red Sox Have a Chance to Win
Fortunately for Boston, Greinke finished the season similarly to Pivetta. The former ace has a 6.03 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in his past seven appearances. The Red Sox have been on a tear lately, batting.317 as a club in October. When a hot offense meets an ice cold pitcher, it typically results in a lot of runs, which may be the case when Greinke takes the mound at Fenway Park on Tuesday.
In this game, home field advantage will undoubtedly be a factor. The Red Sox have been absolutely devastating at home this playoffs, batting.304 with a.370 on-base percentage and a.547 slugging percentage. All of these statistics are exceptional, and they should continue to be so against Greinke, a pitcher with whom the Red Sox are familiar. The previous time Boston faced Greinke, he was pounded for four runs in three innings, and he was defeated.
Final Prediction & Pick for the Astros vs. Red Sox
The over is a no-brainer here. Both offenses have the ability to erupt at any time, and two dubious pitchers are on the mound. In this one, lock in the over with a lot of confidence.
PREDICTION AND PICK FOR THE FINAL ASTROS-RED SOX GAME: Over 10 runs (-110)
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