Editorial by: Graydon Fox
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On Sunday, June 3rd, the (38-17) Boston Red Sox will be on the road to take on the (35-21) Houston Astros.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Red Sox 4.3 – Astros 4.2 with an over/under of 8.5.
BOS: Rick Porcello (7-2, 3.65) vs HOU: Charlie Morton (7-0, 2.26)
Runs per game: Red Sox 5.36 (2nd) > Astros 5.00 (5th)
Batting Average: Red Sox .267 (1st) > Astros .258 (6th)
On Base Percentage: Red Sox .331 (5th) > Astros .329 (6th)
Total Bases: Red Sox 903 (1st) > Astros 804 (5th)
Stolen Bases: Red Sox 37 (5th) > Astros 28 (14th)
Team Earned Run Average: Astros 2.64 (1st) > Red Sox 3.55 (8th)
Batting Average Against: Astros .204 (1st) > Red Sox .233 (8th)
Walks/Hits Per Innings Pitched: Astros 1.01 (1st) > Red Sox 1.21 (4th)
Strikeouts: Astros 581 (1st) > Red Sox 544 (2nd)
Saves: Red Sox 20 (1st) > Astros 12 (22nd)
Errors: Astros 16 (1st) > Red Sox 27 (8th)
The Red Sox enter the game 2nd in the league in runs per game (5.36) and 8th in team earned run average (3.55). Boston is (8-2) in their last ten games and (19-9) on the road this season. The Red Sox have been one of the league’s most potent offensive teams and their decision to cut Hanley Ramirez caught many by surprise. Mookie Betts (.359, 17 HR, 37 RBI) is off to an MVP caliber start to the season while J.D. Martinez (.323, 17 HR, 45 RBI) is proving to be the most impactful offseason addition to date. Boston’s bullpen ranks 5th in ERA (3.12) and they have committed the 8th fewest errors (27). The Red Sox will have their hands full against Charlie Morton (7-0, 2.26) who is enjoying quite the career renaissance. Boston’s hitters are batting a combined .226 against Morton in 31 at-bats. Morton has been exceptional at home this season (5-0, 1.85).
Houston ranks 5th in runs per game (5.00) and 1st in team ERA (2.64). The Astros are (6-4) in their last ten games and they are (16-11) at home this season. The Astros are led by their phenomenal pitching staff which leads the league in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and batting average against. Houston has the best starting staff in the American Legaue and they are backed by a bullpen that ranks 4th in ERA (3.02). Houston has been tremendous defensively committing the fewest amount of errors in the league (16). Jose Altuve (.332 AVG, .379 OBP, 29 RBI), following his MVP season, is one of the most consistently dominant players in MLB. George Springer (.287, 11HR, 34 RBI) and Carlos Correa (.267, 8 HR, 36 RBI) are amongst the best young players in baseball. The Astros have hit well against Red Sox starter Rick Porcello (7-2, 3.65) batting a combined .299 in 67 at-bats.
The Astros have a distinct advantage in this pitching match-up as Charlie Morton is throwing the ball as well as anyone in baseball. Jose Altuve has ignited the Astros offense of late hitting .419 in his last seven games. Houston has had success against Rick Porcello and their dominant bullpen should be able to hold off a late Red Sox comeback. I expect a close, low scoring game, and I like Houston to win this one at home.
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