Generating offense has been an issue for the Boston Red Sox in their first two games at Houston, and they’ll try to break out of the short slump on Wednesday’s sports betting card when they continue their series with the Astros.
Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
Wednesday, June 02, 2021 – 08:10 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
Shoddy fielding also played a big part in Boston’s loss on Tuesday, with errors on consecutive plays in the seventh opening the door for Houston to score three times and break open a close game for a 5-1 triumph. The win allowed the Astros to remain just a half-game behind the Oakland A’s in the AL West race while the Red Sox stayed two behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.
Wednesday’s clash will be televised nationally by ESPN, and Bovada likes Houston’s chances to make it three in a row over Boston. The Astros are carrying -140 chalk into the matchup with Framber Valdez (0-0, 2.25) on the mound, and the Red Sox send Nick Pivetta (6-0, 3.86) out to the bump with 8½-9 available for scoreboard bettors at the best online sportbooks.
BoSox Have Won Pivetta’s Last 5 Road
Starts Errors by Rafael Devers and former Astro Marwin Gonzalez allowed Houston to pull away from the Red Sox on Tuesday. The miscues really stood out in a game that Boston only managed five hits off Astros rookie Luis Garcia. The meat of the Red Sox lineup – JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Devers – went a combined 0-for-12 with six strikeouts.
Yet to take a hit to his loss column since joining the Red Sox late last season, Pivetta has been a cash cow for bettors following Boston on the baseball odds when it’s his day to pitch. The Red sox have emerged victorious in nine of his 10 starts on the year, good enough for nearly 9 units of black ink. The latest came a week ago at home against the Atlanta Braves, Pivetta tossing six innings of a 9-5 final and being backed by homers from Rafael Devers and Hunter Renfroe.
Pivetta will be facing the Astros for the first time since his 2017 rookie campaign, and making his first-ever trip to the bump in Houston. In that 2017 interleague contest when the Astros traveled to Philadelphia, the 28-year-old Canadian allowed five runs over six frames, striking out seven with only one walk.
Dubya Tonight Guarantees Winning Homestand for Astros
Hosting the Dodgers, Padres and Red Sox in succession definitely qualifies as Houston’s toughest homestand of the season, and a victory on Wednesday would ensure the Astros make it a winning homestand. They have a long road trip coming up after this with series against the Blue Jays and Twins sandwiching a 3-game set with the Red Sox at Fenway Park next week.
Sidelined by a fractured finger to begin 2021, Valdez made his season debut last Friday at home against San Diego and tossed four innings of 1-run baseball. The lefty only allowed one run – a Tommy Pham homer – and made 72 pitches in the game that was eventually won in 11 innings by the Padres, who were small underdogs at the best online betting sites. All signs point to Valdez being held to 85-90 pitches on Wednesday.
Valdez will be starting against the Red Sox for the first time in his career, with his only previous experiences facing Boston coming from the bullpen. He made two relief appearances in 2019, totaling 2.2 innings with just one earned run charged to Valdez’s ledger. Kike Hernandez, who has been in a slump, is the only Red Sox hitter to have taken Valdez deep, and that came while Hernandez was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Umpire Notes, Roof Report & A Free Pick
Tim Timmons, the lieutenant of this crew behind chief Alfonso Marquez, will be at the dish for the series finale. It’s the 12th plate assignment of the season for the 23-year veteran umpire, the previous 11 splitting 5-5 O/U along with a push. Timmons’ last half-dozen times to call balls and strikes in Houston have run 4-2 O/U.
Afternoon rain is once again in the Houston forecast, so we should once again expect the roof to be closed at Minute Maid Park. In fact, I’d be surprised if the Astros play another game through August with the roof open.
Tuesday’s final marked the seventh time in the last eight meetings between the Red Sox and Astros that ‘under’ bettors were left holding winning tickets. With Boston bats in a slump and Pivetta on a nice roll, I’ll go that direction with my free MLB pick in Game 3 of the series.
*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.