After the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox split the first two games of the ALCS, the series shifts to Fenway Park for a critical Game 3 on Monday night. The Red Sox are listed as slight home favorites in Game 3 with a moneyline of -120, while Houston’s moneyline is set at +100. The game also has an over/under of nine runs.
It’s certainly been a tale of two games in the ALCS thus far. The Astros had to eke out a nail-biter in Game 1 after erasing an early 3-1 deficit. Meanwhile, the Red Sox took complete control of Game 2 by leading 8-0 after two innings before holding on for a 9-5 win on the road.
Turning the Tide
Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will get the Game 3 start on Monday despite some subpar performances in his playoff history. Rodriguez had his ups and downs during the regular season, although he did end up13-8 with a 4.74 ERA. He also started two games during the ALDS, struggling in the first outing but giving up two runs over five innings in the series-clinching game against the Rays.
Of course, facing the Astros will be a different challenge for him, with Houston’s lineup averaging 6.8 runs per game during the postseason. While they fell behind in Game 2, the Astros did a nice job of making things interesting, even if they couldn’t come all of the way back.
Carlos Correa has been red-hot during the postseason, while Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker have both homered twice and combined for 14 RBIs in six playoff games.
There are also a few players in Houston’s lineup who have a good track record against Rodriguez. Alex Bregman has two home runs and a double against him in just 12 at-bats, while Carlos Correa is six for ten against the lefty. In fact, Houston’s hitters have combined for six home runs in just 86 at-bats against Rodriguez.
Been Here Before
The Astros have Jose Urquidy lined up to start Game 3 in what will be his first appearance of the 2021 postseason. Urquidy made a name for himself during the 2019 postseason and gained even more experience last year. In three starts and one relief appearance last year, he posted a 4.02 ERA, although he owns a career 2.81 postseason ERA.
During the regular season, Urquidy was rock-solid as well, making 20 starts and going 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA. The only concern is that he missed all of July and August with shoulder discomfort. However, he came back and was 2-0 with a 4.18 ERA in September and looked effective despite giving up two home runs on the last day of the regular season.
As for the Red Sox, they showed what they’ve capable of doing on Saturday when they scored eight runs over the first two innings. Since getting shut out in Game 1 of the ALDS, the Red Sox have averaged 7.8 runs per game over their last five games.
Enrique Hernandez has been the biggest star with five home runs in seven postseason games, although J.D. Martinez, Alex Verdugo, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers have also stood out with production.
Ride the Wave
The Red Sox surely feel good about themselves after winning Game 2 and getting their bats going. They are also 3-0 at home in the postseason thus far. Bet on Boston to keep it going and win Game 3 at home.
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