Gut check time for the Boston Red Sox. They played great baseball all season long, won the American League East by fending off the Yankees, and just like that they’re now a game away from out of the postseason. The Astros didn’t just win, they beat them down in Houston. I think they had to win Game 1 with Chris Sale on the hump, but came up empty. Justin Verlander outshined Sale, en route to an easy 8-2 win.
The ‘Stros followed it up with yet another 8-2 win in Game 2. Boston have looked lifeless at the plate and getting zero production out of their pitching. It takes 3 games to win this round of the postseason though, so we’ll see if the Red Sox can pull off some more postseason magic. They have done it before, but they are up against a humongous wall.
The Red Sox will have to fight back against an offense that is on fire at the moment. The Astros finished 1st in runs score per game in the regular season, and now they’ve already accumulated 16 runs in two games of the postseason.
You can’t really pitch around anyone in this lineup, because the next guy can hit just as well. The Red Sox have put themselves in a hole that Doug Fister will have to try and lead them out of. At it’s peak, the Red Sox rotation should have ended up being David Price, Chris Sale, and Fister.
Injuries and in the case of Fister, a huge regression from previous years has done them in. Nevertheless, don’t expect much when you only score 2 runs a game, especially against this high-octane Astros’ offense. Brad Peacock will counter for the Astros, who will look to close the Red Sox out on Sunday. Head below for our free Astros vs. Red Sox pick.
Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox Pick
Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (5-9, 4.88 ERA)
Peacock only got the nod as a full-time starter because of injuries. The idea was to put him back in the bullpen. Peacock wasn’t having any of it, though. He made it way too hard on the Astros to utilize him as a reliever, a gem in the rough. Peacock enters Game 3 of the ALDS with an ERA of 3.00. This will be his first appearance in the postseason. He posted a 2.65 ERA in his final three games of the regular season, which included a nice start against the Red Sox in the season finale. The Red Sox scored 2 runs on Peacock across 5 innings of work.
The Red Sox have struggled mightily against Peacock, hitting just .218 in 55 at-bats. Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez are the only two to take him deep. Nunez was recently injured, Chris Young is taking his spot, so that removes one from the equation. Fister on the other hand has struggled against the Astros, like a lot of other pitchers. The ‘Stros are hitting him for .313 in 83 at-bats. Fister has also been struggling lately, with a 7.82 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in his last three outings. Houston is fully capable on the road, as they’ve gone 53-28 which is actually better than at home. Fading the Astros doesn’t seem like a wise move at this point. They go for the jugular and sweep the Red Sox on Sunday.
PICK: ASTROS (-140)