In the marquee series of the weekend, the Boston Red Sox play host to the Houston Astros at Fenway. This could be a preview of the ALCS, with two top teams in the American League going at it. The Red Sox are 1st in the majors with a record of 97-44, while the Astros are tied with the Yankees at 87-53. The Astros can earn the second seed in the American League with a strong finish.
They also have to finish up strong to avoid the Oakland Athletics catching them from behind. The Astros have a 3.5-game lead on the A’s which isn’t enough to relax with a few weeks left in the season. Seattle slept on the Athletics and we’ve seen how that worked out for them. As it is now, the A’s would be playing against the Yankees in the Wild Card Game. Unfortunately for the Yanks, they have to paly in a division with the Red Sox.
The Yankees are not catching up to the Red Sox as they are in a 9.5-game hole. What they have to focus on is protecting homefield. A game at Yankee Stadium vs on the road may mean the difference between a win and loss. The Yanks did not look so hot playing in Oakland this past weekend.
The Astros head into Boston on a five-game winning streak. They swept Twins for three games after beating the Angels in two straight. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have been playing quality baseball as well recently, with a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are a heck of a baseball team and those three games are more impressive that it seems. David Price is making his first start tonight since a 14-6 win against the Marlins. He skipped his most recent scheduled start, after getting drilled by a line drive to his wrist. Fortunately for the Red Sox it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The Astros will go with Gerrit Cole this evening. Head below for our free Astros vs. Red Sox pick for Thursday night in Boston.
Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox Pick
Gerrit Cole (13-5, 2.86 ERA) vs. David Price (14-6, 3.60 ERA)
The Pittsburgh Pirates gave up on Gerrit Cole after five decent years in the organization. In his last season, Cole posted an ERA of 4.26 and that got him shown the door. He was not happy about it at all, and the guy has been pitching like he’s trying to prove something. Whatever the case, Cole has been pitching well for the Astros with an ERA of 2.86 and 1.03 WHIP.
It hasn’t been picture perfect for him recently, though, as he goes into Fenway with a 4.32 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and .338 OBA in his last three starts. The Red Sox are hitting .255 with a .281 OBP against Cole in 110 at-bats. In his last showing against the Red Sox, he beat Chris Sale for a 7-3 victory back in June.
The Red Sox have been hitting the ball well with 23 runs in their last three games. That’s typical for the best offense in the majors, where they’re averaging 5.43 runs per game. The Red Sox have been deadly at home, with a record of 48-18. David Price will have to be good against this Houston lineup, though. He’s been good with a 3.10 ERA and 1.12 WHIP at home. Price enters with an ERA of 2.50 and 0.83 WHIP in his last three outings. The ‘Stros are hitting .247 against Price in 150 at-bats. Both teams are playing great ball lately, but the edge goes to the best offense in baseball at home behind David Price.