Throughout the season, I’ll dabble in game-by-game breakdowns. Let’s dive into the MLB betting market for the first of a three-game series between the Astros and Red Sox.
MLB Betting: Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
After an appearance in last season’s ALCS against these Astros, the Red Sox have struggled out of the gate with a 13-21 mark. Nevertheless, there’s a reason why they’re favored in tonight’s game.
Boston right-hander Garrett Whitlock, who has been limited to four innings or fewer in a trio of his four starts, owns a 2.19 ERA and 2.90 FIP. He possessed a reliever role in his rookie campaign, but it’s worth noting that his fastball velocity has dipped more than a full point (95.5 mph).
While Whitlock may still be on a short leash, his sinker usage (53.3%) should have success against a Houston lineup that’s delivered the ninth-lowest efficiency versus that pitch type (via FanGraphs). The Astros don’t strike out often, yet his ability to miss bats with his sinker could lead to his fair share of punchouts.
Trusting the Red Sox bullpen is another story, considering they’ve generated the league’s fifth-highest FIP. They’ve even received a bit of luck, with their opponents’ collective BABIP (.264) sitting below the league average.
Couple that with their offense’s 21st-ranked wRC+ against righties, as they’ll face Houston’s Jake Odorizzi, and there’s reason to be concerned.
Nevertheless, Boston’s hard-hit rate increased significantly over the last week — led by J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers — and it translated into the second-highest ranking in the aforementioned category. If the short-term spike is somewhat sustainable, it’ll provide enough run support for Whitlock.
Best Available Line: Check our MLB odds board
Eli’s MLB Betting Pick: