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Hard-Hitting Red Sox Seek 3-1 Lead Over Astros In ALCS

Kyle Schwarber and the Red Sox opened as underdogs in MLB betting odds for Game 4 of the ALCS vs the Astros.

After dropping Game 1 of the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox have found their rhythm, winning two straight games to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven. The series remains at Fenway Park for Game 4 with the Red Sox looking to take a 3-1 stranglehold.

Houston Astros vs Boston Red Sox
  • Date/Time: October 19, 8:08 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Fenway Park
  • TV Coverage: FS1, FS1-INT
  • Opening Odds: Astros +115 | O/U 10 (Line History)
  • Astros vs Red Sox Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Despite losing Game 3, the visiting Astros opened as the betting favorites at +115 on the moneyline, with the Red Sox coming back at +260, but the line soon flipped in favor of the hosts, with Boston now -125 at most sportsbooks. The total is set at 10 runs with the OVER going 3-0 in the teams’ last three meetings.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Nick Pivetta has made two appearances this postseason, both in the American League Division Series, posting a 1-0 record while allowing seven hits and three earned runs over 8.2 innings. The right-hander was 9-8 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP through 31 games (30 starts) in the regular season. Pivetta faced the Astros on June 2, scattering three hits and two earned runs over six innings.

After projected Game 4 starter Jake Odorizzi was called upon to pitch four innings in relief in Game 2, the Astros will turn to Zack Greinke as the starter for Game 4. The 37-year-old has made one postseason outing, allowing two hits in an inning of work in Game 3 of the ALDS. Greinke made 30 appearances (29 starts) in the regular season, posting a record of 11-6 with a 4.16 ERA and and a 1.17 WHIP, but he hasn’t started a game since September 19.

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Houston News & Notes

After a disastrous start to Game 2 when the Astros allowed two grand slams through the first two innings, they were looking for a steady pitching performance from starter Jose Urquidy. After a 1-2-3 first inning, it was looking good – but things went downhill fast in the second as Urquidy loaded the bases and allowed Boston’s third grand slam of the series. Yimi Garcia came on in relief but got knocked around for three hits and three earned runs as the Red Sox put up nine through the first three innings.

Houston’s offense was largely ineffective with all three of their runs coming off the bat of Kyle Tucker’s fourth-inning bomb. The Astros managed just five hits through the ball game as Jose Altuve was held hitless for the second consecutive outing.

Boston News & Notes

The Red Sox locked up Game 2 early on with two grand slams through two innings, and they followed up with an equally impressive offensive showing in Game 3. Kyle Schwarber hit yet another grand slam in the second as Boston got out to a 9-0 lead through just three innings of play. Christian Arroyo added three RBIs while Christian Vazquez and JD Martinez chipped in with two hits and two RBIs apiece.

Boston’s pitching staff has been able to tame Houston’s hot bats for the most part, and starter Eduardo Rodriguez did an admirable job, allowing five hits and three earned runs through six innings. The Red Sox only used three relievers thanks to their starter’s efforts, meaning the bullpen will be well-rested for Game 4.

How Houston Will Win

The Astros have to be in damage control after the last two outings. They’ve gone down 8-0 and 9-0 respectively through the first three innings of the last two games; if they want to win, that simply cannot happen again. They’re turning to a veteran in Greinke who certainly has pedigree, but he also hasn’t started in a month – a definite gamble. He’ll need to be stellar to keep the Astros in the game.

How Boston Will Win

If you’re Red Sox manager Alex Cora, your job is pretty easy right now. The bats are swinging as well as they have all year long and the pitching is steady enough. If they can keep the home runs flowing and get out to another early lead, it could be another easy win in Game 4.

Computer Pick: Red Sox ML (-125)

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Shark Bites
  • Boston is 4-0 in its last 4 home games.
  • Houston is 1-6 in its last 7 road games.
  • The OVER is 6-0 in Boston’s last 6 games.