MLB Picks: Red Sox vs. Astros Free Pick

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 2:12 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 2:12 PM GMT

The Houston Astros haven’t won a series in more than a month, but they give the Boston Red Sox trouble in the early going Wednesday. Find out where we are looking to place our MLB picks in this matchup.

Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this American League matchup at Minute Maid Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

Check out our Wednesday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.

Quite a year

Boston has already matched its season win total from 2012, as it sits 1.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East standings.

The Red Sox are 12-9 as road favorites of -150 to -175 over the last two-plus seasons, but haven’t landed in this type of role in 2013.

Youth is served

Houston has 11 players on its current 25-man roster that played at the Triple-A level since Memorial Day, as the club attempts to bounce back from a 15-10 defeat to Boston as +159 home underdogs Tuesday.

The Astros haven’t won a series since June 18-20, while their 5.20 bullpen ERA is the worst in the big leagues.

Dempster

Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.54 ERA) has led the club to four consecutive victories, with the offense providing 31 runs of support over that span.

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA in seven road appearances, issuing 23 walks and striking out 30 batters in 38.1 combined frames.

In 52 career games (26 starts) versus the Astros, Dempster has compiled a 7-12 record and 4.28 ERA, including a 4-7 mark and 3.79 ERA in 25 outings at this ballpark.

Cosart 

Astros starting pitcher Jarred Cosart (1-0, 0.96 ERA) hasn’t earned a win since his professional debut on July 12, but he’s yet to surrender a home run in 28 innings at this level.

The right-hander didn’t earn a decision in a 5-4 home victory over the Oakland Athletics in his only career outings in front of the hometown fans, as he allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits over seven frames.

[gameodds]3/240764/?r3=43-999997-349/dec&r-1=43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Astros in the first five innings with their MLB picks, as the Red Sox aren’t use to playing at this level in the market this season.

MLB Pick:  Houston Astros +150 First Five Innings

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