Free MLB Picks: Red Sox vs. Astros

Jeff Grant

Friday, July 11, 2014 12:47 PM GMT

The Astros will suffer a letdown after finishing off a sweep of their biggest rivals to start the week, which will allow the Red Sox to continue their winning ways heading into the All-Star Break.

A glimmer of hope
Boston has won back-to-back games for the first time in July, as it prepares to open up a three-game series against Houston at Minute Maid Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

The Red Sox are coming off a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox as -160 home favorites Thursday—their 15th one-run ball game in their last 25 contests.

MLB handicappers will find that the defending World Series champions are a forgettable 14-23 versus teams with a winning record this season.

 

Brought out the broom
Houston may be a bit overvalued in the MLB betting odds after completing a three-game road sweep of the Texas Rangers Wednesday, especially since this is the first time the franchise hasn’t been in last place in the division standings this late in the season since 2010.

The Astros have hit 100 home runs this season—their fourth-highest total before the Midsummer Classic in team history.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is a deplorable 12-47 during this particular month of the calendar, with the 'over' going 32-25-2 in that situation.

 

Lackey
Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey (9-6, 3.84 ERA) has alternated wins and losses in his last three trips to the mound, as he comes off a 7-4 setback at home to the Baltimore Orioles—allowing five runs and 10 hits over 5.1 innings of work.

The right-hander is 4-3 with a 4.65 ERA in eight road appearances, as he’s served up nine long balls in 50.1 combined frames.

Lackey has compiled a 2.25 ERA in his last 12 innings against the Astros.

 

Feldman
As mentioned in our previous sports picks, Astros starting pitcher Scott Feldman (4-5, 3.86 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 11-5 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels last Saturday, as he gave up two runs and six hits over six frames.

The right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.66 ERA in eight home outings, with opposing hitters batting .270 against him (.261 on the road).

Feldman registered a 0-2 record and 9.49 ERA in three efforts versus the Red Sox a year ago.

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Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Red Sox as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve gone 13-3 in their last 16 meetings in this series, while the Astros have dropped 48 of 67 affairs versus AL East opponents.

Free MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox