Game: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox
Time: 8:08 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Jose Urquidy vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Odds: Astros +108, Red Sox -117
After a Game 2 victory evened up the series with the Astros, the Boston Red Sox head home to Fenway Park where they are favored to win Game 3 in the ALCS. If Boston gets another performance like Game 2, it could be a long night for Houston.
In the first inning of Game 2, Boston’s J.D. Martinez jacked a grand slam home run. You don’t win too many games when you give up a grand slam in the first inning. You definitely don’t win games when you give up another grand slam in the second inning. Rafael Devers hit the second one and the Red Sox jumped out to an 8-0 lead on their way to a 9-5 Game 2 victory.
The Red Sox will start left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez who will be making his third appearance of this playoff season. He started Games 1 and 4 of the ALDS against Tampa Bay. He didn’t do well in Game 1, but went five innings allowing three hits and two earned runs in a Game 4 win over the Rays. During the regular season, Rodriguez went 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA in 31 starts.
Two of Rodriguez’s 31 regular season starts were against Houston. He did not do well. He lasted 4.2 innings in each start and gave up a total of 12 earned runs, six in each game. Boston lost the first game 11-2 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Red Sox were able to win Rodriguez’s second start against the Astros, 12-8. That game was played at Fenway Park.
Houston will start Jose Urquidy, who has yet to appear in a playoff game this season. Urquidy missed two months of the season with shoulder discomfort, but pitched well upon his return in September. Houston won five of his last six starts. Urquidy finished the regular season 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA. He hasn’t pitched since an Oct. 3 start against Oakland. He allowed three earned runs in six innings and the Astros won 7-6. Urquidy was the pitcher in that 11-2 Astros win back in May when he faced Rodriguez.
What the Astros have been very good at this season is hitting left-handed pitching. Houston ranked second in batting average and on-base percentage when facing left-handers during the regular season. The Astros managed five hits against Chris Sale in Game 1 before he was pulled after 2.2 innings.
In two games thus far, there has been a total of 23 runs. Both games went Over the posted total of 8.5. Tonight’s total has moved to 9. Neither pitcher is what one would consider an ace. In both Boston’s and Houston’s last five games, the total has gone Over. The Over trends when Urquidy is the starting pitcher.
In his last nine starts, the Over is 6-1-2. Urquidy allowed multiple home runs in two of his last three starts. Boston was 10th in home runs during the regular season and has six players that hit at least 20. Enrique Hernandez has five in the postseason.