Mining the Diamond: Houston prepared for Liftoff in Game 2 of the ALDS

Swinging Johnson

Friday, October 6, 2017 12:20 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 12:20 PM UTC

Yesterday we went 2-0 in our ALDS MLB picks with both Houston and Cleveland drawing first blood in their best of five series. We look to keep those tickets cashing with a look at today’s Game 2 between the Red Sox and Astros.

Red Sox (93-70, +3.7 Units) at Astros (102-61, +12.9 Units)

  • Houston is 5-3 (+1.4 Units) against the Red Sox this season.
  • Houston is 33-16 (+10.9 Units) in day games this season.
  • Houston is 33-21 (+7.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record.
  • Boston is 0-11 (-11.8 Units) in October games over the last three seasons.
  • Boston is 18-19 (-4.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season.
  • Boston is 18-19 (-8.8 Units) against left-handed starters this season.

The Houston offense has shifted into overdrive as the weather grows colder, and no player on their roster more clearly exemplifies that power surge than Jose Altuve. The diminutive second baseman launched three solo shots, which was only the 10th time in MLB history that a player had three home runs in a postseason game, further advancing his case as the AL MVP. When the dust settled the Astros roared to an 8-2 victory, hitting Boston’s ace Chris Sale for seven runs and chasing him after five innings of work.

As well as Justin Verlander pitched yesterday, Houston expects no less of their 1A option in Dallas Keuchel. Until Verlander arrived via trade with the Tigers, Keuchel was the staff’s ace but Verlander assumed that mantle with his arrival and has proven worthy of that distinction. Nevertheless, Keuchel is also a Cy Young Award (2015) winner like his teammate, who won it in 2011, and the 6’3” southpaw has been on track after a few rough patches earlier in the year. Keuchel posted a 3-2 record with a 2.87 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and 28 strikeouts in his five September starts and owns a 2.26 ERA with a stellar 0.94 WHIP in his 11 starts at Minute Maid Park.

The Red Sox will send their own lefty Drew Pomeranz to the hill in a game which is now critical to their longevity in the postseason. Pomeranz was impressive in his two starts versus Houston this season, tossing a combined 12 1/3 innings and surrendering just two earned runs, both resulting in Boston victories. The issue in this game is not with the starters but with the disparity in which the offenses are working. Boston has averaged just three runs per game over their last five while the Astros are clicking on all cylinders in producing an average of 8.4 runs per game over their last seven contests.

The MLB odds on Houston are steep for a reason but unfortunately, we don’t see enough value on the visitors to do anything else but back the Astros in our MLB picks in Game 2 of this ALDS series.

Free MLB Pick: Astros -170
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


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