MLB Free Picks: Red Sox at Astros 06/18/17

MLB Picks And Parlays: Boston Red Sox Meets Houston Astros on MLB Sunday Night Baseball

by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper

Vegas Odds by Bovada
Red Sox  O/U – 9½
Astros -120

David Price

The ESPN game of the week has the Boston Red Sox taking on the Houston Astros. It’s a juicy matchup that has a heating up Boston team taking on a cooling off Astros.

The Red Sox are within striking distance of first in the AL East with a 10-4 record in their last 14 games heading into Saturday night’s games.

While Boston does have a number of depth players on the DL, they are at relatively full strength ever since they welcomed David Price back into the fold.

As such they have a starting rotation as intimidating as any in the game. And that’s good, because they are still searching for some consistency from an offense that they expected would be one of the best of in the game.  

It’s an offense that had struggled to get on track for the first few weeks of the season, rebounded in the second half of May and is again struggling in June. They’ve scored just 4.2 RPG in 15 games this month which is 12th in the league.

But their 3.93 ERA in June is third best in the league.

Houston still has the best record in baseball, but they are slumping in June. They had an eleven-game winning streak snapped on June 5th and are just 3-7 since then heading into Saturday night’s games. They split a four-game set with Kansas City and then lost two of three at home to both the Angels and Rangers before losing on Friday night to Boston.

They are missing both of their pitching aces, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers and it’s had a ripple effect on the whole team.

The Astros have been hitting the cover off the ball, averaging close to six runs a game for most of the season, but that is down to 4.8 in the last ten. It would be 3.8 if not for a 13-2 thrashing of the Rangers on Thursday. Meanwhile the pitching staff has allowed 5.3 RPG over that same span.

Price (1-1, 5.09 ERA) gets the start for the Red Sox. The ERA is high in his four games, but much of it is due to allowing six runs in five innings to the Yankees in a 9-1 loss. In the other three games he allowed seven runs over 18 innings. That’s not spectacular, but a 3.50 ERA is still pretty solid for a player looking to get into a rhythm.

Joe Musgrove (4-5, 4.81 ERA) gets the start for Houston. His ERA is also quite high but he’s been pretty solid over the last five weeks. Similar to Price his stat line is inflated by giving up seven runs in three innings in an 8-6 loss to the Indians. Besides that he’s allowed five runs in 23.1 innings in his four other most recent starts.

 

Cash It In: The Red Sox are -120 favorites and the Astros are +100 underdogs. Price has some of the best stuff in the game, but is still finding his groove. Musgrove has been better than his numbers show. The Astros offense is struggling a bit of late, but I think they’ll find a way in this one. Astros 6-3.

MLB Expert Picks and Parlays: Astros +100 &  Under 9½

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