Sunday concludes in Houston, with the Red Sox and Astros taking over ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball. The Astros have been trying to find their way as a favorite to reach the World Series. All of the eyes and pressure on them hasn’t panned out so well thus far. While I liked the Astros to be a decent team this season, I really didn’t understand the hype surrounding them winning the World Series. Reaching the ALCS? Maybe. But there were a lot of people saying the Astros are going to take the World Series. And hey, we are still in April, there is a lot of time for the Astros to play better baseball and become a force in August and September. However, even then, I don’t see the ‘Stros as World Series’ Champions. The Astros have a ton of work to do before people start believing in them again. Houston enters Sunday night with a record of 6-12, they snapped a four-game skid in a big way, dispatching the Red Sox by a score of 8-3.
They needed something to go right for them, and they finally got it, with the offense pouring it on against Clay Buchholz. Buchholz has had better days, as he is trying to keep his career in the rotation afloat. It’s been anywhere but up for Buchholz since he had that miraculous Cy Young campaign a couple years ago. Henry Owens will get the start tonight, his first start of 2016 for the Red Sox. Owens is getting the chance due to the injury to Joe Kelly. He made eleven starts with the Red Sox a year ago and started in the minors for 2016. Owens finished 2015 with a 4.57 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.
The Red Sox acquired Joe Kelly last season, formerly with the St. Louis Cardinals. The idea was for him to be a rotation stuffer, and hopefully give some excellent starts from time to time. Kelly had a 2.69 ERA in 2012, but hasn’t come anywhere close to duplicating that success. Owens has a chance to seize the opportunity up in the majors. If he does well, Owens might be staying right where he is now. Get bombed, and the Red Sox have a major problem on their hands. Let’s take a look at tonight and try and peg how this one is going to unfold.
Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
Henry Owens (0-0, 0-0 ERA) vs. Scott Feldman (2-1, 4.11 ERA)
Owens knew he was going to be back up in the majors, he just didn’t know when. He did his best to catch the attention of Red Sox management, as he posted a 1.00 ERA in three starts in AAA. The stage is going to be much bigger for Owens tonight, coming from the minors to a Sunday night game on national television. But Owens has already dished out 10 walks. He needs to shore that up, because he’ll get taken advantage of he’s going to hand over free bases at the major league level.
Scott Feldman is trying to stay in the starting rotation himself. Feldman has been around though, notably with the Texas Rangers. The Astros hope to get a healthy Lance McCullers back, which would ultimately make Feldman the odd guy out, unless he can catch fire. Feldman holds a 4.11 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. He is putting far too many runners on the bases for the Astros liking. Further, Feldman has an absolutely horrendous history against the Red Sox. He brings a 7.24 ERA and 1.78 WHIP against Boston into tonight. This isn’t just one start, Feldman has had seven starts against the Red Sox, yet his numbers continue to go through the roof. This isn’t the lineup he wanted to see as he is fighting to stay in the Astro rotation. He should get popped again tonight, but what is Owens going to bring to the table? I think the safe bet here is for some runs to be scored. The offenses put on a display on Sunday night, with the OVER 9 a solid option.
PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (-110)