Can Porcello Take the Red Sox to Game 5 Against the 'Stros?

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Doug Upstone

Monday, October 9, 2017 12:30 PM GMT

Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 12:30 PM GMT

Thus far, one half of the American League Divisional series has been nothing but blowouts, with home teams winning by six runs twice and seven in the other. Does that trend continue or not in Game 4?

This is elimination game No.2 for Boston and they have to feel better the offense came alive and somebody in the pitching staff finally held down the Houston offense. The early MLB odds had Houston favored for a fourth straight game at -115, with a total of 10.5. This matchup start a busy Monday of playoff baseball, with this contest on FS1 at 1:00 EDT.

Pitching Matchup - Morton vs. Porcello

Charley Morton won a career-high 14 games while losing only seven times, backed by an offense that frequently took the pressure off. As per usual, Morton did spend some time on the DL, yet because he was mainly pain-free, his fastball was frequently in the mid to upper 90's and for the first time he struck-out more than a batter per inning (163 vs. 146.7). His key is establishing low fastball early in the count and going upstairs with the heater when having two strikes on opposing batter.

One year after winning the AL Cy Young, Rick Porcello had a nightmare 11-17 regular season, with a 4.65 ERA. After improving during July and August, the right-hander was back to struggling and finished poorly, posting a 5.93 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over his last five starts. His season has featured the inability to spot pitches with his most walks since 2009 and his beastly 38 home runs allowed was almost 35 percent higher than his next worst season. In 10 postseason games, Porcello is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA.

What To Watch For

Both offenses have shown they can hang crooked numbers in a hurry, thus, both managers and the pitching coach will have to have a watchful eye to the first hint of trouble.

In the postseason, it almost always what team has the most clutch hits with runners in scoring position and this will be no different in this contest. Generate offense you win, leave runners on in big spots, that usually ends in a loss.

Game 4 ALDS Outcome

For MLB picks, the pressure is still on Boston to win to force a Game 5 and while they feel better about themselves going into the encounter, there is little reason to believe Porcello will be sturdy and give them what they need and overall still prefer the Astros bullpen, even if they had a lousy Game 3.

Houston wraps the series and move on Monday afternoon.

Free MLB Play - Houston wins
Best Line is (-113) at 5Dimes

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