The Boston Red Sox (37-23) will face the Houston Astros (33-26) to begin a three-game set on Tuesday in what will be the second series in as many weeks for these interdivision foes. The Astros took three of four games against the Red Sox at home in Houston last week, achieving a plus-10 run differential in that series. Now it’s time for Boston to host, and they’re coming off four consecutive road wins to finish their recent trip. Somehow, Boston has fared better on the road (20-10) than at home (16-13).
Free Picks: Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros
If you’re looking for runs … look elsewhere
Who here likes a compelling pitching matchup? If so, keep on reading!
Boston’s Martin Perez (4-2, 3.09 ERA) and Houston’s Framber Valdez (1-0, 1.64 ERA) have significantly different sample sizes to this point in the season, but both have dazzled of late. And that’s what makes this battle of two strong teams even more interesting on Tuesday, when the Astros serve as -116 road favorites on the money line (10Bet) of the day’s MLB picks. The Red Sox are +100 money line underdogs (10Bet), despite having a better overall record.
When you look at Perez, and what he’s done recently, the Red Sox seem like the perfect underdog pick. Perez is 4-1 in his past seven starts — with wins in each of his past four — and has a 1.98 ERA to boot. Oh, and did we mention he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings to win his most recent start, which happened to come in Houston? And prior to that, Perez’s most recent outing against the Astros came in 2019, when he tossed eight scoreless innings to beat them.
That’s all great, but we know those sorts of facts don’t exist in a vacuum. Perez has to match up against somebody, and this time that somebody is a very worthy opponent. Valdez, who missed most of the first two months with a broken finger on his throwing hand, has excelled through his first two turns in the rotation: 14 strikeouts versus just seven hits and two runs allowed in 14 innings. Yes, that includes a strong start versus Boston last week (seven innings, five hits, one run, 10 strikeouts.
The concern with Valdez might be the micro sample, but this is a guy who earned Cy Young votes last year. We’re not suggesting he retains a sub-2.00 ERA for the rest of the year, but his very early success is not all that unusual.
So, then, where do we differentiate? Houston did win three of four in last week’s series, although the Red Sox have ripped off five victories in a row since then. So we’ll let value be the deciding factor, and value favors the red-hot Red Sox. It’s not everyday you can bet on a home team with a superior record and receive underdog odds, so that’s where this BetPicks prediction will lead us. Oh, and take a look at the under on the 9.5 run total (-110 at 10Bet), too.
- Boston is 7-3 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in six of the Red Sox’s past nine games
- Houston is 6-4 on the money line in its past 10
- The UNDER has cashed in five of the Astros’ past six games
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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).