Red Sox vs. Astros Betting Odds & Pick: Target the Total at Minute Maid Park (May 31)

Red Sox vs. Astros Betting Odds & Pick: Target the Total at Minute Maid Park (May 31) article feature image
Credit:

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Rafael Devers (left) and Xander Bogaerts (right).

  • Two of the hottest offenses in baseball meet on Memorial Day as the Boston Red Sox take on the Houston Astros.
  • Both teams have solid matchups against the opposing pitchers. so BJ Cunningham is expecting plenty of runs.
  • Check out Cunningham's full betting preview complete with updated odds, a pick, and a prediction for the game below.

Red Sox vs. Astros Odds

Red Sox Odds -120
Astros Odds +102
Over/Under 9 (-112 / -108)
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds as of Monday afternoon and via FanDuel.

Two of the best offenses in baseball meet on Memorial Day in Houston as the Red Sox battle the Astros.

The Red Sox have relinquished their division lead in the AL East to the Rays, but Boston has been on a tear to begin the season. Its offense has been one of the best in baseball, ranking in the top five of just about every metric. It’ll send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound in hopes he can turn around the misfortune he has suffered through so far this season.

The Astros are trying to keep pace with Oakland, as they trail the A’s by 1.5 games entering Monday. They’ll send Jose Urquidy to the bump off the IL in hopes he can shut down a red-hot Red Sox offense.

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Offensive Matchup

Red Sox Have Solid Matchup

The Red Sox offense has been one of the best in Major League Baseball this season, as they are tied with the White Sox for the best wOBA at .332. Most of that success has come against right handed, as Boston has 110 wRC+ and the highest hard hit percentage in baseball against righties at 33.9%.

They’ll have a really good matchup this afternoon against Urquidy. He mainly utilizes a fastball-slider-changeup combination, which are three pitches the Red Sox rank inside the top half of baseball against.

Can Houston Hit the Changeup?

Houston’s offense has also been one of the best in baseball, and it’s because of its success against left-handed pitchers. The Astros have the highest batting average against lefties at .282 and the second-highest wRC+ in baseball at 121.

Their main success has come against fastballs, and they’ve had some success against cutters, ranking in the top half of baseball against both of those pitches. The one pitch they’ve struggled the most against, though, is the changeup, so I expect Rodriguez to utilize that pitch a lot this afternoon.

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Starting Pitching Matchup

Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Jose Urquidy

2021 Stats (via FanGraphs)

Red Sox Starting Pitcher

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Rodriguez has been dealt a great deal of bad luck so far this season. His ERA is all the way up at 5.06, but his xERA is at 3.46 and his xFIP is at 3.30, so he’s well overdue for some positive regression. He’s got an incredibly high K/9 rate of 10.13 while also keeping his BB/9 rate at a low rate of 2.06.

Although the Astros are a fantastic lineup against left-handed pitching, his pitch mix could give him an advantage because he utilizes a changeup and cutter quite often, which are two pitches the Astros struggle against.

So, Rodriguez may actually have some success against Houston’s lineup this afternoon.

Astros Starting Pitcher

Jose Urquidy, RHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Urquidy has been a relatively nice surprise for the Astros this season, but he’s due for some negative regresson, as he has a 3.22 ERA with an xFIP all the way up at 4.66. He hasn’t been striking out many opponents, owning a K/9 of 6.65, which is the lowest mark of his career.

Urquidy has been pretty solid with his fastball, allowing a wOBA under .275, but his main two secondary pitches of slider and changeup have been struggling, as he’s allowed an xwOBA over .320.

Urquidy has been on the IL for the past few weeks, so he hasn’t pitched since May 12. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs against an elite lineup like the Red Sox.

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Bullpen/Defensive Matchup

The Red Sox bullpen wasn’t expected to be the strength of their team coming into the season, but they’ve been fantastic as a unit, posting a 3.75 xFIP.

The Astros bullpen has struggled, ranking in the bottom half of baseball with a 4.45 xFIP, so the Red Sox will have an advantage in the later innings.

Red Sox-Astros Pick

With how successful both of these offenses have been so far this season and given how great their matchup is against the opposing starting pitcher, I think we are going to see a high-scoring affair.

I have 9.84 runs projected for this game, so I think there’s some value on over 8.5 runs at -113.

Pick: Over 8.5 (-113)

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