The Boston Red Sox out hit the Houston Astros 7 to 4 hits, but it didn’t matter on the scoreboard Friday. The Astros edged out the Red Sox in a close game that became interesting late. Up 4-0, the Red Sox scored 3 unanswered runs to pull within 1, though the door was closed on them in the top of the 9th. Roberto Osuna has been perfect in closing situations, as he notched his 25th save in 25 attempts.
The Astros made a gamble on Osuna after getting arrested for a domestic situation in Toronto. He negotiated a deal and was never officially prosecuted with the crime, though. That said, his on-field ability is not a gamble. As long as he didn’t get into trouble, the Astros knew they had their clear closer.
The Blue Jays were selling and wanted to wash their hands of Osuna, so the Astros ended up making out pretty well. With all of the blown games in baseball these days, Osuna locking things down in the 9th is refreshing. Ryan Pressley has also been a weapon out of the bullpen. He went 39 straight innings without allowing a run before it was snapped last night.
Houston moved to 34-18 on the season with the win yesterday. They are in complete control of the AL West and I see that being the case from now until the postseason. If the Rangers had pitching then that would be a different story. The ‘Stros don’t have to worry about that, though, as the Rangers have to rely on putting up 5+ runs every night to win games.
Houston has the luxury of going to a stable pitching staff. Pitching is always going to win out and they have what the rest of the AL West doesn’t. What the Astros aren’t going to have is George Springer for the foreseeable future. They lost Springer yesterday who appears to be heading to the IL. He is leading the AL in home runs so it is a sizable blow. It isn’t disastrous to a well-rounded team like Houston, but it will hurt losing a bat like his. Head below for our free Red Sox vs. Astros pick.
Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros Pick:
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Brad Peacock pitched exclusively out of the bullpen last season because of a jam packed rotation. Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel were in the starting rotation, so it left Peacock the last guy out. With Morton and Keuchel gone, an opportunity presented itself to allow Peacock to get back into a role as a starter.
He’s made good on the chance, as he rolls into Saturday with a respectable ERA of 3.59 with a 1.05 WHIP. Nothing elite but certainly good enough to stay in the rotation for the year. Peacock has been looking elite most recently, though. Note that he owns an ERA of 0.53 and 0.76 WHIP in his previous three tilts.
However, he hasn’t been great against the Red Sox in 62 at-bats. The Red Sox are hitting .290 with 3 home runs in 62 appearances at the plate against Peacock. There are several hitters in the Boston lineup who have had no issues exploiting Peacock. After a tough night at the office Friday, look for the Red Sox to come through against Peacock. Conversely, the Astros are likely to face some difficulties against David Price, a pitcher they’ve notoriously had shut them down.
Price will luckily not have to deal with George Springer, one of a few hitters on Houston who have hit a home run against him. As a team, the Astros are hitting just .201 with a .258 OBP against Price. This will be his first matchup against them since the postseason in October. He was responsible for the clinching win in Game 5, as he allowed only 3 hits with 9 strikeouts across 6 scoreless frames. Look for the Red Sox to respond after faltering Friday night. The value appears to be on them at plus money today.