The Boston Red Sox have won five straight, including a sweep of their arch-rival, the New York Yankees over the weekend. Now they face a Houston Astros team that took three of four from them last week in Texas.
Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox
Tuesday, June 08, 2021 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park
The Boston Red Sox are on a roll. The Sox have won five straight games, including a three-game sweep of the hated Yankees over the weekend in the Bronx, Boston’s first over New York since 2011. The Red Sox also knocked off the Marlins in a Monday makeup game and have won seven of 10. Boston has moved within a half game of first in the American League East and has a three and a half game edge in the Wild Card.
Now the Sox host the only team to beat them over that stretch—the Houston Astros, who beat Boston three out of four in Texas last week. Houston has won six of eight to pull to within a game of first in the American League West. Boston manager Alex Cora answered all of the sign-stealing questions last week, in his return to Houston. In the rematch, he can focus on beating his old team and turning the MLB odds to his side.
Knocking off the Big Boys
According to the best sportsbooks, Houston is on a prolonged stretch of success against some of the best teams in baseball. The Astros’ last nine wins, dating back to May 18, have come against Toronto, Boston, San Diego, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Oakland. They’ve won nine of their last 14 against teams with winning records.
The Astros took a hit over the weekend, literally and figuratively, when versatile Aledmys Diaz, who has played six different positions this season, was hit by a pitch, breaking his hand. The .278 hitter will miss the next six to eight weeks.
"I went down and prayed by the water, by Lake Erie there yesterday, that it wasn't too serious or take too long,” manager Dusty Baker said. Houston was playing the Blue Jays in Buffalo. “It's kind of a downer because he's such a valuable part of this club and a valuable person on the club. So we got to find a way to push on."
Houston will start southpaw Framber Valdez, who is 1-0, 1.64 in two starts since returning from a broken finger in spring training. He went seven innings against the Red Sox last week, allowing one run and notching the win.
The Red Sox have won five straight behind a strong showing by the Boston bats. The Sox have scored at least five runs in each game after being held to a total of four in three losses to Houston last week. Boston tried a new lineup on Monday, moving Christian Arroyo into the leadoff spot for the first time since May 1. The Red Sox have tried four other leadoff hitters since. Arroyo went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the game.
Manager Alex Cora said the team was “just trying to get something going up there. There’s no, how can I put it — the information department, there are no numbers, there’s nothing. We’re just like, you know what, hopefully, he goes there and he does his job.”
Betting sites show how Boston’s bullpen has had a heavy workload of late. Matthew Barnes pitched three straight days over the weekend and Adam Ottavino went four outs for a save on Monday as the Red Sox starter couldn’t get out of the fifth, putting more pressure on the pen. Boston sends lefty Martin Perez to the mound. He’s 4-2, 3.09 and has won his last four starts, posting a 1.82 ERA over that span. He went 7.2 against the Astros last week to salvage Boston’s only win in the series.
The Red Sox are smoking hot, playing at home, starting a pitcher who’s on a roll, and they’re the underdog. Houston will miss Diaz, while the Red Sox have been getting contributions from seemingly everyone on the roster during their hot streak.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.