Wednesday night features the second game of a three-game series between playoff hopefuls as the Houston Astros (34-26) take on the Boston Red Sox (37-24). The Red Sox will host this one at Fenway Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
The Astros took the first game of this series on Tuesday, 7-1. In the win, Framber Valdez pitched 7.1 innings of one-run ball and struck out eight. Offensively, Carlos Correa hit his 11th home run of the season while Yordan Alvarez hit his eighth.
In the loss, Martin Perez was roughed up as he gave up six runs on six hits and three walks in just two innings of work. The lone run batted in came off the bat of outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
The Red Sox come into Wednesday’s game as the favorites playing at home. They are -142 to win while the Astros’ moneyline is +120. The runline features Houston +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is 10.
The Astros will send righty Jake Odorizzi (0-3, 7.16 ERA) to the mound Wednesday. Odorizzi is still looking for his first win in an Astros’ uniform. In his last start, a 5-1 loss to Boston, he gave up three runs in just three innings of work.
The Red Sox will counter with Nathan Eovaldi (7-2, 3.78 ERA). Eovaldi has been fantastic thus far this season. He has been better on the road (4-0, 2.44 ERA) than at home (3-2, 4.49 ERA), but he will look to even the series at one apiece Wednesday.
By The Numbers
Offensively, these are two of the best scoring teams in baseball. The Astros currently rank second in the majors averaging 5.31 runs per game. The Red Sox come in third, averaging 4.98 runs per game.
Defensively, it is the Red Sox who hold a slight advantage. They rank 10th overall, allowing opponents 4.08 runs per game. The Astros come in 12th in the majors allowing 4.14 runs per game.
Astros Try To Win Series Against Boston For Second Time In Two Weeks
Last week, the Houston Astros were able to take three of four from the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park to win the first series between the two American League contenders. With a win on Wednesday, they would be able to guarantee two series wins over Boston in the span of two weeks.
One of the leaders offensively for the Astros this season has been shortstop, Carlos Correa. After homering Tuesday, he now is tied for the team lead in home runs with 11 (tied with Kyle Tucker). He is also hitting .288/.372/.502 with 34 runs batted in and 39 runs scored.
While only a few Astros have experience against Nathan Eovaldi, one player to keep an eye on is Jose Altuve. Despite facing the righty just six times in his career, he is hitting .500 with two home runs against him. Alex Bregman has also homered off of Eovaldi.
Red Hot Red Sox Try To Bounce Back From Loss
After dropping the first three games of their series against Houston last week, the Red Sox went on to win five in a row, including a sweep of the New York Yankees over the weekend. After having their winning streak snapped Tuesday, they will look to get back on track Wednesday.
This season, Boston has been led offensively by third baseman Rafael Devers. In 218 at-bats thus far, he is hitting .271/.340/.560 with a team-leading 15 home runs and 48 runs batted in.
J.D. Martinez has also hit well as he has 12 home runs, 39 runs batted in, and 41 runs scored to go along with a .319/.387/.563 slash line. Martinez has also gone two for five against Odorizzi in his career with a solo home run.
Taking Boston To Win
The saying in baseball is that you are only as good as your next day’s starter. In this case, the advantage goes to Boston.
Jake Odorizzi has pitched well in his career, but thus far, he has looked lost with the Astros. Granted, a late start to the season and an injury have added to that, but until he shows some consistency, it is hard to feel too much confidence in him.
Nathan Eovaldi, on the other hand, has been really solid this year. While he has been better on the road than at home, he still has a record over .500 at Fenway Park. The Astros have also not seen Eovaldi this season as he did not pitch in the series last week.
Granted, either one of these offenses has the capability to explode, but looking at the pitching matchup, the smart play is on Boston at -142.