The Houston Astros will look to complete the three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox when they take to the diamond at Fenway Park on Thursday night. Houston has been downright dominant in taking the first two games and will turn to 2009 American League Cy Young winner Zack Greinke in order to extend its winning ways.
Houston (35-26) has won three straight and eight of 10 and sits in second place in the AL West, one game behind the Oakland A’s.
Boston (37-25) had its five-game winning streak snapped in Tuesday’s series opener, but is still just 1½ game behind Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Astros are slight road favorites to complete the sweep. The MLB betting odds for this matchup of AL pennant contenders are live in the BetUS online sportsbook right now.
Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox
When: Thursday, 7:10 p.m. ET
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
TV: NESN, ATT SportsNet-SW
Houston – Zack Greinke – RHP – (6-2, 3.38 ERA, 60 SO)
Boston – Eduardo Rodriguez – LHP – (5-4, 5.59 ERA, 65 SO)
Houston +1½ (-155)
Astros Solid With Greinke on Mound
Houston won the series opener 7-1 on Tuesday and backed that up by recording a convincing 8-3 win on Wednesday despite my prediction otherwise. Jake Odorizzi allowed three runs on three hits with six strikeouts and one walk in five innings to get the win. Cristian Javier tossed four scoreless innings to get the save. Odorizzi retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.
“He showed a lot of progress from the time before, and that’s the key,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “As long as he keeps progressing to the point where he thinks he should be and we think he should be, that means he’s in route.”
Seven players recorded multi-hit games. Alex Bregman led the way with a pair of doubles, a home run and two RBIs and Jose Altuve added a home run in the win. For the series finale, veteran Greinke gets the call.
The right-hander bounced back from a poor start in his previous outing to limit San Diego to one run on six hits with four strikeouts in eight innings of a 7-4 win on May 30. Greinke has allowed one earned run in two of his last three starts while tossing an identical eight innings twice.
Boston Needs to Get Offense Untracked
Prior to this series, Boston had won five straight while scoring at least five runs in each game. The Red Sox have been limited to a grand total of four runs in two games against the Astros. On Wednesday, Nathan Eovaldi gave up five runs on a season-high 11 hits in 5.2 innings.
Xander Bogaerts hit his 11th home run and drove in two runs and Hunter Renfroe added an RBI in the loss. Boston’s fans have unleashed a torrent of boos and other unprintable words on Houston for their 2017 cheating scanda. Red Sox manager Alex Cora was part of as Houston’s bench coach that season.
“Tough to swallow, tough to hear it. Because at the end I was part of that. I was part of the 2017 Astros and I was part of the whole sign-stealing situation,” Cora said before the game. “The fact that they were booed like that, that kind of like hit me, too.”
For Game 3, Boston will hand the ball to Eduardo Rodriguez. The 28-year-old southpaw has been smacked around in six straight starts and comes into this game after allowing three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings of a 7-3 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday. Rodriguez has allowed a home run in three consecutive starts and four of his last five starts overall.
Astros Win Behind Greinke
The Astros are 4-0 in their last four road games against a left-handed starter and 8-1 in their last nine games during Game 3 of a series. Houston is 6-1 in its last seven road games against a team with a winning record, and 5-1 in its last six games against a left-handed starter.
On the flip side of the coin, the Red Sox are 8-21 in their last 29 games as a home underdog, 1-6 in their last seven games against teams from the AL West and 0-6 in their last six games when their opponent scores 5 runs or more in their previous game.
The Astros are 5-1 in the last six meetings against Boston and 4-1 in the last five road dates against the Red Sox. Houston gets it done by rocking Eduardo Rodriguez and getting a strong outing from Zack Greinke.
Pick: Houston Astros +101