Houston Astros (70-55) vs Boston Red Sox (66-58)
Game Info: Monday, August 21, 2023 at 8:10 pm (Minute Maid Park)
Cristian Javier (8-2) (4.49) vs James Paxton (7-3) (3.34)
Betting Odds: Houston Astros -109 / Boston Red Sox -109 --- Over/Under: 8.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Houston Astros will host the Boston Red Sox for game one of their four-game series this Monday from Minute Maid Park on TBS.
Red Sox Preview & Projected Starter
Boston moved to 66-58 after sweeping New York. There were a lot of electric home runs throughout baseball this weekend, but the Red Sox bringing the brooms out in the Bronx deserves a lot more love. They’ll now look to erase the distance in the AL Wild Card picture this week against Houston. The Boston offense is 4.18 scoring runs per game, while batting .264, with a .331 on-base percentage. The pitching staff carries a 4.89 ERA, with a 1.34 WHIP.
James Paxton (7-3, 3.34 ERA, 93 Ks) will take the bump for Boston. The veteran lefty delivered another quality start in DC last time out, holding the Nats to two runs thru six innings of work. Paxton has been the Sox best pitcher since the start of June, holding teams to two runs or less in nine of his last twelve outings. This road spot could get tricky for Paxton, but he does have a consistent track record on his side.
Red Sox Player Trends & Props
• Rafael Devers went crazy in the Bronx, collecting three hits in each matchup, while homering twice. After producing runs in four straight games, Devers first on the team in HR (29) and RBI (85).
• Justin Turner doubled and homered in the game three win over the Yanks, and he’s posting strong splits of .288/20/79, with 124 hits.
• Masataka Yoshida went yard in the game one win, and he leads the Sox in hits (126), with splits of .297/13/60.
Astros Preview & Projected Starter
Houston enters at 70-55 after being swept by Seattle. The World Champions got a wake up call this weekend from the Mariners, and they’ll look to avoid skidding further here at home. The Houston offense is scoring 4.76 runs per game, while batting .248, with a .317 on-base percentage. The pitching staff carries a 3.81 ERA, with a 1.27 WHIP.
Cristian Javier (8-2, 4.49 ERA, 112 Ks) will get the call for Houston. The fourth-year righty didn’t pitch well in Miami last week, allowing five runs in just 4.2 innings pitched. Javier’s record doesn’t show it, but he’s regressed a bit this season from a velocity and strikeout standpoint, as he’s only cleared six Ks in two of his last ten starts. Javier pitches well with the bats behind him, and he’ll look to get Houston back into the win column here in game one.
Astros Player Trends & Props
• Kyle Tucker had a quiet series versus Seattle, and his status for this matchup should be monitored prior to first pitch. Tucker leads the Astros in hits (131), with strong splits of .296/24/92.
• Alex Bregman doubled and tripled in the game three loss to the Mariners, and he’s posting a line of .252/20/81.
• Yordan Alvarez plated a pair of runs in Sunday’s loss, and he’s tallied 21 homers with 66 RBI for the season.
• Jose Altuve has recorded a hit in eight of the last ten games, and he’s batting .327 thru 54 games.
Corey’s Free Pick
I’d say Houston we have a problem, but there’s no reason for them to panic just yet. The Astros still control the AL Wild Card picture, they just have to avoid losing this series, and after being swept in division play by Seattle, there will be a sense of urgency to get back into the win column. The Astros are very much still in the AL West title picture as well, and I think they respond to the heat with good play here at home. Back Houston for game one, and give the Over a look as well with the bats in play.