Sunday MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: Our Favorite Bets For Rays vs. Red Sox & Astros vs. White Sox (Oct. 10)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: The Astros celebrate their Game 2 win.
- The home Red Sox and White Sox are favored in today's ALDS Game 3 matchups.
- Boston looks to take a series lead from Tampa, while Chicago is looking to extend its series and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Astros.
- Continue reading for our staff's best bets on Sunday's critical MLB playoff matchups.
The Houston Astros will look to close out the Chicago White Sox, completing a three-game sweep on the South Side of Chicago on Sunday night.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, meanwhile, are deadlocked at one game apiece as the series shifts back to Fenway Park.
Our analysts have a pick on each of today’s American League games, and both picks are focused on the total.
Here are our best bets for Sunday’s MLB postseason slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|8:07 p.m. ET|
Rays vs. Red Sox
Sean Zerillo: Boston has a real chance to wrestle control over this series with a Game 3 win.
With ace Nathan Eovaldi (3.37 xERA, 3.48 xFIP, 3.60 SIERA) back on the mound at home on full rest following after a stellar effort in the wild-card game (5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K), Boston will surely be feeling confident.
Eovaldi faced the Rays four times this season, turning in three quality starts where he went at least seven innings and allowed one run or less. His presence makes the Red Sox a decent home favorite in this pivotal game.
Drew Rasmussen (3.65 xERA, 3.67 xFIP, 3.92 SIERA) is a lesser-known commodity. He has terrific metrics and stuff (95th percentile in fastball velocity; 90th percentile in fastball spin), but the righty has mostly worked out of the bullpen and hasn’t pitched more than five innings in two MLB seasons.
Offensively, Boston hits righties (109 wRC+) better than it does lefties (102), particularly in the second half when they led all of MLB with a 123 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitching. The Red Sox also have strong splits against all pitch types, but in particular, they crushed sliders, which is Rasmussen’s go-to offering (30.2% usage) behind his fastball.
Eovaldi was electric in the wild-card game, generating an excellent 37% called strike plus whiff rate (CSW%) and at least one whiff with all five of his pitches.
Despite his incredible velocity (96.9 mph that’s fifth among starting pitchers), Eovaldi’s arsenal rates closer to average across the board. The curveball is the standout pitch, ranking eighth among qualified starters on a per-pitch basis. Eight of his 13 curveballs against the Yankees generated either a called strike or a whiff.
New York ranked eighth in MLB this season against curveballs; Tampa Bay ranks fifth.
Astros vs. White Sox
|8:07 p.m. ET|
Collin Whitchurch: Dylan Cease had a breakout season, finishing with career-bests across the board. He’s always had elite swing-and-miss stuff, but harnessed his command en route to 226 strikeouts in 165 2/3 innings.
Cease got lit up by the Astros in Houston, but when he faced them in Chicago, he punched out 10 and allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, no small feat against a team as tough to strike out as this Houston lineup.
We’ve seen the Houston lineup give both Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito fits already this series, battling a pair of aces with great command to frustrating high pitch counts, solid contact abilities, and drawing more than their share of walks.
The White Sox, meanwhile, don’t have an extra-base hit through two games. Luis Garcia shut them down at home back in June, but has been far less successful on the road throughout the season (4.24 ERA vs. 2.39 ERA at home).
The wind is going to be blowing in at Guaranteed Rate Field, and the Chicago crowd will undoubtedly be rocking for its first postseason game in 13 years. Between Houston’s success at avoiding strikeouts and Garcia’s road woes, though, this seems like an environment ripe for runs. I like the over 4.5 through the first five innings here at -105 and would bet it to -110.