MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Red Sox vs. Astros: How to Bet Two of A.L.’s Best Offenses in Houston (Tuesday, June 1)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: J.D. Martinez
- Two powerhouse lineups continue their series on Tuesday night in Houston.
- The Red Sox and Astros struggled at the plate in 2020, but star bats like J.D. Martinez and Jose Altive are back to their best this year.
- Jeff Hicks breaks down the matchup and where he sees betting value at Minute Maid Park.
Red Sox vs. Astros Odds
|Red Sox Odds||+104|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday and via PointsBet|
Two of the best offenses in baseball continue their series Tuesday after a high-scoring affair Monday.
The offensive revivals of both the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros after disappointing 2020s put them firmly in their respective American League division races at the first benchmark of the 2021 season. Where each team can do better is pitching, especially when facing teams like each other.
That bodes well for projected starters Garrett Richards and Luis Garcia.
Boston’s Bats Have Bounced Back in 2021
The Boston Red Sox have exploded offensively in 2021 and hit well away from Fenway Park, too.
Boston is tied for the third best Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) on the road against right-handed pitching. The offense is also top three in slugging, OPS, ISO, Home Run-to-Flyball ratio (HR/FB), BsR (baserunning), and Hard Hit percentage (Hard%). Their biggest faults are striking out (27.6%) and not taking walks (6.8%).
After down 2020 seasons, J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and the Red Sox offense is feared again.
The same cannot be said for Richards, who has been one of the letdowns in the Red Sox rotation. His strikeout rate is down, walk rate up and his expected statistics are half a run higher than his 3.83 ERA.
Aside from a bloated BABIP, Richards is who he is. Richards is a fastball-curveball pitcher this season, a change from his usual preference of using his slider as his secondary pitch. Regardless, it has only been somewhat effective.
For Boston to be worth plus money, Richards will have to continue to pitch well on the road. He has a 2.52 ERA and .246/.303/.388 slash line against in 35 2/3 innings pitched. It is not overwhelming, but whelming gets the job done sometimes.
In the event Richards blows up, the Red Sox bullpen has been one of the best this season (Monday an exception). The bullpen limits hard hits and excels are soft contact, led by a resurgent Matt Barnes closing games.
Astros’ Lineup Among MLB’s Best
Like Boston, Houston does not rely on walks, but also has the best strikeout rate at home.
The Astros are the only offense with sub-20% strikeout rates against righties at home and on the road. They also have a top-five average, OBP, OPS, Weighted Runs Above Average (wRAA), weighted On Base Average (wOBA) and Medium Hit percentage (Med%). I bring up Med% because the Astros are just as likely to bleed out runs as to hit home runs.
Garcia has been solid in his first extended look as a starting pitcher. Buoyed by a strong strikeout rate, BABIP (yikes) and Left On Base percentage (double yikes), he has filled in admirably as injuries have plucked multiple Astros pitchers from the rotation throughout the season. The entire rotation has a .263 BABIP, so regression is coming.
Red Sox-Astros Pick
Both teams have flaws in their pitching, and these offenses have thrived in the majority of hitting situations this season. I am surprised to see over 9 runs at -120 on PointsBet, especially with the amount of runs posted Monday, which ended as an 11-2 Astros win.
These two offenses put the onus on opposing pitchers to miss their bats or suffer the consequences. It also makes baseball fun with fewer than three true outcomes.
Pick: Over 9 runs – 120 (play to -140) | Bet 9.5 runs up to -130