Red Sox: Sale (17-8, 2.90 ERA) Astros: Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA)
The American League Division Series begins Thursday with the Boston Red Sox traveling to Houston to face the Astros. The Astros took the season series four games to three.
Justin Verlander will be making the start for the Astros. Verlander is 5-0 with a 1.06 earned run average since joining the Astros on August 31. Verlander made two starts this season against Boston, both while with the Tigers. In those starts Verlander allowed three earned runs over 12 innings, he did not get a decision in either start. Current Red Sox batters have a lifetime .211 batting average and zero career home runs against Verlander.
Verlander is no stranger to the postseason, he has a career 7-5 record with a 3.39 earned run average in the 16 post season starts he made with the Detroit Tigers.
Chris Sale has made 180 career stats but this will be the aces first playoff appearance. Sale did not face the Astros this season but is 5-1 with a 1.31 earned run average against Houston in his career. Current Astros hitters have a career .209 earned run average against Sale, but Astros start second baseman and possible American League MVP Jose Altuve is 8 for 21 (.381 BA) in his career against Sale.
Verlander and Sale have faced each other seven times in their careers, five times when Sale was with the Chicago White Sox and twice this season while Sale was with the Red Sox. Sale’s career earned run average in match-ups against Verlander is 2.95. Verlander has a 1.93 career earned run average while a member of the Detroit Tigers in his match-ups against Sale.
With two aces on the mound and very good bullpens, I expect a low scoring game here. The Red Sox bullpen ranked second in the American League behind Cleveland with a 3.15 earned run average on the season. Their bullpen is anchored by closer Craig Kimbrel who is 5-0 with 35 saves in 39 save opportunities.
Detroit Tigers (Pelfrey 3-9, 4.78 ) at Boston Red Sox (Wright 12-5, 2.67)
Yesterday, we started the week with a 3-2 start. Today leading the way is a repeat of one of our successful plays from last night by playing the over/under on the Tigers and Red Sox.
Both the Tigers and Red Sox have been strong plays on the over this season. Boston ranks fifth in all of MLB in percentage of games going over, while the Detroit Tigers rank ninth. The recent trends however have told a different story, the Over is 2-12-1 in Detroit’s last 15 games and also only 6-9 in Boston’s last 15.
Expectations for Tiger’s starter Mike Pelfrey tend to be pretty low each time he steps on the mound, but Pelfrey has had a solid July posting a 3.72 ERA over four starts.
Steven Wright had two of his lesser starts in July, but overall has been very good this season. In his last outing Wright allowed only one earned run, while striking out nine batters over eight innings against the Minnesota Twins. Overall, Wright has allowed more than three earned runs in only three of his 13 starts this season.
At -190 I am not betting on the Red Sox, even though I am leaning on them winning this game. The alternative line of under 12.5 can also get you -195 value at the moment.
My play here is the UNDER 11 runs (-110). Last night I felt the over of 10 was too high and played the over, the total ended up at six. For the second night in a row, I believe that the Over is too high.
Other Picks for Today ✅ Over 8.5 Cincinnati Reds San Francisco Giants EVEN ✅ Houston Astros ML Over New York Yankees (-140) ✅ Baltimore Orioles ML Over Colorado Rockies (-185)
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You have to own the bad days along with the good days. May 9 was not a good day in baseball for us, dropping all three picks. The season is a sprint not a marathon and we are still running today. Here are three MLB picks for Tuesday to get back on track.
May 9 Record 0-3
Get Sports Strong MLB Season Record 27-20
Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox (Over 9.5 Runs -120)
Athletics (Manaea 0-0, 7.20) Red Sox (O’ Sullivan 0-0. 9.00)
Not a stellar pitching match-up. Sean O’Sullivan comes in with a 5.96 career ERA over 52 career starts. A’s prospect Sean Manaea has allowed four runs in both of his first two career starts this season. After combining for 21 runs yesterday, I see these two teams going over 9.5 runs.
Detroit Tigers at Washington Nationals (Nationals -1.5 Runs, +130)
Throughout the Tigers current seven game losing steak, you keep getting the feeling that the Tigers are too good to let this continue, but the bleeding has not stopped. Six of the seven losses during Detroit’s current losing steak have been by four runs or more. The Tigers will send out rookie starter Micheal Fulmer who has given up 17 hits and 7 earned runs in 10 innings pitched so far. Joe Ross has not allowed more than two runs in any start this season, and in the start were he allowed two earned runs he was facing the Cubs. I am picking Washington to win by more then one run. With +130 odds this is a good opportunity to pick up some positive juice.
Toronto Blue Jays at San Francisco Giants (Blue Jays Moneyline -123)
Blue Jays (Happ 4-0, 2.50) Giants (Cain 0-4, 7.84)
The recent trend of these two starting pitchers heavily favors Toronto. Blue Jays starter, J.A Happ has made eight consecutive quality starts going back to last season. Giants starter, Matt Cain has only had one quality start this season in six attempts. Cain’s last start resulted in a 17-7 loss to the Colorado Rockies. I like the Blue Jays to pick up the road victory.
Today kicks off our third week of the season with public MLB picks for you. Let’s have another positive week.
Last week May 2-7 record 14-10
Get Sports Strong MLB Season Record 27-17
Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox (A’s Moneyline +110)
Athletics (Gray 3-3, 4.84) Red Sox (Buchholz 1-3, 5.71)
Both starting pitchers have struggled this season, but Sonny Gray has had more positive moments than Clay Bucholz has. Current Red Sox hitters have only a .128 BA average against Sonny Gray. A’s are 9-7 on the road, much better then their 5-11 home record. I like the Athletics as an underdog pick here.
Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros (Indians Moneyline – 125)
Corey Kluber is 4-1 with a 1.48 ERA in his career against the Astros. After getting off to a slow start Kluber is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last three starts this season. The Astros have only won two consecutive games once this season. I like the Indians to win this game.
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (Rockies Moneyline -150)
This will be the seventh time these two teams have met already this season. The Rockies have won five of the first six match-ups. Tyler Chatwood is 2-0 against Arizona this season. In those two starts Chatwood has allowed one earned run over a total of 12 2/3 innings. I am looking for Chatwood to improve to 3-0 against the Diamondbacks this season and picking the Rockies to win at home.