Astros vs Red Sox Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, August 29
Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Rafael Devers
Astros vs. Red Sox Odds
The Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox were trading haymakers early on in the opening game of this series until the Astros landed a knockout punch by putting up six runs in the top of the sixth and never looked back.
Oddsmakers appear to believe that tonight's matchup could look similar, as the total is sitting in double-digits once again. However, when it comes to games where many runs are expected, there are many angles that you can take.
So, while there are ways to play the total in this matchup, I've locked in on two guys who are primed to be right in the middle of all the scoring tonight.
The Houston Astros find themselves in a tight divisional race with just 30 games left in the season. Only one game separates them and the Seattle Mariners, as each of them has come on of late and eclipsed the Texas Rangers.
A big reason why the Astros have surged over the last few months is because their lineup finally got healthy. Key pieces like Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena missed time this season, but there was no bigger absence than Yordan Alvarez's.
Alvarez has played just 85 games this season, but he's made his presence felt when he's been on the field. The lefty slugger is one of the most feared hitters in the game, as he consistently punishes baseballs.
He ranks in the 94th percentile in average exit velocity and the 92nd percentile in hard-hit rate. Tonight, he'll face a starter in Brayan Bello who's taken some strides this season but has allowed a great deal of hard contact and may be in trouble against Alvarez.
Bello ranks in the 18th percentile in hard-hit allowed, and that has shown in his three matchups against Alvarez. Alvarez is 1-3 against Bello with an average exit velocity of 97.6 mph and has an xBA of .580.
The Red Sox have been a pleasant surprise this season as they've navigated the gauntlet that is the AL East far better than many expected. With just a month to go in the season, Boston sits six games over .500 and 5.5 games out of the third AL wild card spot.
They have significantly outperformed expectations at the plate this season, as they hold the third-highest team batting average in the majors. While their contact metrics indicate they are due to regress, that regression will need to wait because they get to face J.P. France tonight.
France has done a nice job of bolstering the back end of the Astros' rotation in his rookie season, as he's pitched to a 3.51 ERA through 18 starts. However, France's xERA indicates significant regression is on the way, as it is a full run higher than his actual ERA.
France does not miss many bats and has found his pitches have found the barrel more often than not this season. That is concerning against the likes of Rafael Devers.
Devers has been scalding the ball all season long but has yet to get fully rewarded for it. His batting average is due to rise 11 points, and his slug is expected to go up 32 points. His positive regression should be evident tonight in the few matchups he gets against France.
Astros vs. Red Sox
Betting Pick & Prediction
The total for this matchup is high, and part of that is due to Fenway Park playing small with the wind blowing out and the humidity being high. It will help the two best sluggers on the diamond tonight, as they are both in line to do damage.
We're not picking sides tonight. We're just looking for extra bases by backing both Alvarez and Devers to go over their respective total base props.