Red Sox vs. Astros: MLB Game Odds and Expert Analysis

Red Sox vs. Astros: MLB Game Odds and Expert Analysis

A very important series regarding the American League playoff picture begins on Monday when the Boston Red Sox visit the Houston Astros in the first of a four-game set. The Astros are short favorites on the MLB odds.


Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros | 2023 MLB Expert Analysis

MLB Week 20: Monday August 21 – Sunday August 27, 2023


How to Bet Boston at Houston MLB Odds & TV Info

When: Monday, 8:10 PM ETWhere: Minute Maid ParkProbable pitchers (away/home): James Paxton/Cristian JavierTV: MLB Extra InningsStream/gameday audio: MLB Lines: Astros -130, Red Sox +120 (total 9)


Why Bet on Boston?

The Sox are 3-1-0 in their last 4 series. At 22-16-2, they have matched their series win total from 2022 (22-24-6). The Red Sox are an MLB-best 52-8 (.867) when scoring 5+ runs. The Sox have scored 3+ runs in an inning at least once in 63 of their 124 games. They are 55-8 (.873) in those games, including 25-2 (.926) since the start of June.

Good-looking rookie Tristan Casas missed a second straight game Sunday due to a tooth infection but was to have a follow-up appointment for the issue and could be back in the lineup Monday in Houston if he checks out OK. Casas is the ninth Red Sox player in history to reach 25 homers in 135 games or fewer but only the 3rd to do so at the age of 23 or younger (also Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro). Casas is slashing .323/.412/.687/1.109 since the All-Star break, ranking MLB leaders in AVG (14th), SLG (2nd), OPS (3rd), HR (T-4th), and wRC+ (T-2nd, 192).

It’s lefty James Paxton (7-3, 3.34 ERA) on the mound. Paxton came away with a no-decision in last Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to the Nationals, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out three. Both runs allowed came on solo shots, and Paxton exited the game in line for his fourth loss of the year until Boston tied it in the top of the eighth inning.

The quality start was his first in August and eighth in 16 outings overall. Paxton sports a 3.34 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 93:23 K:BB through 86.1 innings on the season. Overall, Paxton has pitched at least five innings in 13 of his 16 starts. He has allowed two ER or fewer in 11 of them, and issued 2 or fewer walks in 14 of them.

Closer Kenley Jansen has converted each of his last 19 save opportunities since 5/20, MLB’s 2nd-longest active streak behind TOR’s Jordan Romano (20). Boston leads MLB in save % (78.3; 36-for-46), after ranking 24th last season (57.4; 39-for-68).

Bet Red Sox to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Games


Why Bet on Houston?

The Astros are 14-11 thus far while in the midst of a month-long stretch of games (July 24-Aug. 24) in which six of their nine scheduled opponents are currently at .500 or better.

Star outfielder Kyle Tucker didn’t start for a third straight game Sunday with an illness but has been feeling better so he might be able to play Monday. Tucker wanted to play Sunday: “He’s been in bed for two days … I said no. We need him for the next 10 days,” Manager Dusty Baker said.

Tucker is slashing.297/.377/.526 with a .903 OPS, 24 home runs, 92 RBI, 24 steals and 69 runs scored in 441 at-bats in 2023. According to FanGraphs, Tucker has been worth about 4.2 wins in 2023. Only 12 position players have been worth more.

First baseman Jose Abreu was eligible to be activated from the injured list on Sunday but he’s still dealing with lumbar spine inflammation. There is no timetable for him to return, but it’s clear he’s not even ready to baseball activities. Abreu has struggled at the plate this season, with a .234 batting average, 10 home runs and 56 RBI.

It’s right-hander Cristian Javier (8-2, 4.49) on the mound. Javier did not factor into the decision last Tuesday, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and a walk over 4.2 innings against the Marlins. He struck out two. Javier hadn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since July 3, pitching to a 4.44 ERA over his previous five outings.

After holding the Marlins off the board in the first inning, the 26-year-old Javier allowed at least one run in each of his subsequent four innings before he was pulled in the fifth after throwing 95 pitches. Overall, Javier’s 8-2 with a 4.49 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 112:42 K:BB across 23 starts (122.1 innings) this season. He has thrown at least 95 pitches in five straight. Javier has a 2.00 ERA in 18 career innings against the Red Sox but hasn’t seen them in 2023.

Bet Astros to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Games


Expert Prediction

Astros 5, Red Sox 4


AL East Standings

Updated August 21th
Blue Jays6956.5528.5W232-2737-29
Red Sox6658.53211.0W335-2831-30

W: Wins | L: Losses | %: Winning Percentage | GB: Games Behind | STRK: Current Streak | HOME: Record at Home | AWAY: Record When Away

AL West Standings

Updated August 21th

W: Wins | L: Losses | %: Winning Percentage | GB: Games Behind | STRK: Current Streak | HOME: Record at Home | AWAY: Record When Away


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