ALCS Game 6 MLB Odds, Picks, Projections: Red Sox vs. Astros Betting Strategy

ALCS Game 6 MLB Odds, Picks, Projections: Red Sox vs. Astros Betting Strategy article feature image

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Castro and Xander Bogaerts.

  • The Astros are favored to clinch the AL pennant tonight against the Red Sox in Game 6 of the ALCS.
  • The total is 9 as Luis Garcia takes the mound for Houston against Boston ace Nathan Eovaldi.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including model projections and betting picks.

Throughout the Major League Baseball postseason, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on futures and individual games.

I will also address betting these playoff series, whether on the series moneyline or a game-by-game basis, while using my daily MLB Model projections.

Let's talk series prices and World Series futures before digging into Friday's ALCS Game 6 between the Red Sox and the Astros.

Series Moneyline Corner

Here are my updated ML projections for the two league championship series matchups:

The Dodgers' pennant chances improved by 12% following their win in Game 5 on Thursday. It was their seventh-consecutive win in an elimination game, dating back to last season.

I would need +285 (26% implied) to bet the Dodgers on the series ML, to win Games 6 and 7 on the road.

Conversely, you could lay up to -233 (70% implied) on Atlanta to close out the NLCS at Truist Park. However, I'm still not interested in laying any price near that number, with a pennant ticket (+700) and a series ticket (+130) already riding on the Braves.

In the ALCS, I would require +456 (18% implied) to bet Boston on the series ML or -355 (78% implied) to bet Houston.

With the market sitting right around my projected odds (-400 on Houston), I doubt that you find value on the ALCS series ML before Game 6.

World Series Futures Update

Here are my updated World Series projections for the four remaining teams, alongside listed odds at DraftKings:

Both Boston and Atlanta show value in the World Series futures market.

I would bet the Red Sox futures down to +1233 (7.5% implied) at a two-percent edge compared to my projection. And I would bet Atlanta to +250 at a similar edge. 

As has been the case all week, the Red Sox offer more value in the World Series market than they do on their series ML.

However, I have yet to pull the trigger on their futures, and I have been riding a bet on Boston's ALCS series ML instead.

Today's price is the last best price that you'll get on the Red Sox, and they're still just six wins away from cashing that ticket.

As a refresher, here's how my World Series projections have evolved throughout the season:

Red Sox vs. Astros Odds

8:08 p.m. ET start

Game 6 of the ALCS is a rematch from Game 2, in which Boston won 9-5 on the road as a +101 underdog.

Boston re-opened at +108 for the rematch between Nathan Eovaldi (3.37 xERA, 3.48 xFIP, 3.60 SIERA) and Luis Garcia (3.98 xERA, 3.93 xFIP, 3.91 SIERA), but the line has moved closer to a pick'em as of writing.

Eovaldi was effective in Game 2 against the Astros (5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K) but took the loss in a relief appearance in Game 5 (two hits, two walks, and four runs allowed in less than one inning), putting Boston on the brink of elimination.

Typically, Eovaldi leans on his slider (25%) against righties and uses his curveball (27%), cutter (19%) and splitter (17%) against lefties. He was slider-heavy against the Yankees and splitter-heavy against the Rays.

In Game 2, Eovaldi showed a fairly even pitch mix (13 curveballs, 13 cutters, 11 splitters, eight sliders) behind his fastball. In his Game 5 relief appearance, Eovaldi didn't throw any cutters. Houston excels against all of those pitches, but they had the best offense in baseball against cutters this season.

Garcia has allowed 10 runs through his first two playoff starts (3 2/3 innings), and he left Game 2 early with a knee strain. Before leaving, he generated seven whiffs (four with his slider) in one inning against Boston.

The 24-year-old offers a five-pitch mix (four-seam, cutter, slider, changeup, curveball), with his slider (sixth in MLB on a per-pitch basis) and cutter (fifth) ranking as his best offerings.

The @astros' Luis Garcia has been a force in 2021.@AlLeiter22 |

— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 24, 2021

As I mentioned before Game 2, Garcia has performed much better against right-handed hitters (.233 wOBA) than lefties (.352 wOBA), and he may struggle with Kyle Schwarber, Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo.

Still, I only project Eovaldi as a slightly better pitcher (by 0.36 runs per game) as compared to Garcia, but I see a comparable advantage for Houston in the bullpen (by 0.30 runs per game).

Moreover, I give a slight edge to Houston both offensively (by 0.23 runs per game) and defensively too (by 0.05 runs per game):

If Garcia is healthy, the Astros are likely undervalued in this game, and the line discount relative to the same pitching matchup in Game 2 provides some actionable value.

Typically, I would need -109 (52.2% implied) to bet the Astros ML, but I raised my target to -115 (53.5% implied) on the Houston ML since we know what the line "should be" based upon the closing odds from Game 2.

Conversely, I would need +128 to bet the Red Sox ML.

I would set my First Five Innings (F5) price targets to -105 for Houston and +122 for Boston.

As for the totals, I would bet an Over 8.5 (to -102) or an Under 9 (to +102).

Furthermore, I would bet an F5 Over 4.5 (to +106) or Under 5 (to -114).

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The Bets

  • Houston ML (bet to -115)
  • Houston F5 ML (bet to -105)


Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros

  • Boston — Series ML (value to +456)
  • Boston — To Win World Series (value to +1233)
  • Red Sox/Astros, Over 8.5 (to -102) or Under 9 (to +102)
  • Red Sox/Astros, F5 Over 4.5 (to +106) or Under 5 (to -114)

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Atlanta — Series ML (value to -233)
  • Atlanta — To Win World Series (value to +250)
  • Los Angeles — Series ML (value to +285)

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