On a nice run when they got to Houston, the Boston Red Sox were roughed up by the Astros in the series opener and in need of a bounce-back dubya when the set continues on Tuesday’s sports betting calendar.
Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
Tuesday, June 01, 2021 – 08:10 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
It was dink & bloop night for Houston bats in the 11-2 triumph to begin this set, the first meeting between the two clubs in almost exactly two years. The Astros banged out 13 hits off Boston pitchers, 11 of them singles that just seemed to evade Red Sox fielders. Houston won four of the six played between the two in 2019, but the final went against the betting trend of that season when all six contests finished ‘under’ the totals.
Top sportsbooks have the Astros priced around -120 for Tuesday’s tilt with rookie Luis Garcia (3-3, 2.93) on the mound. Boston counters with Garrett Richards (4-3, 3.83), and a 9-run total leans a little to the ‘over’ at some outlets.
Richards Has Been Masterful at Minute Maid
Joey Cora brought the Red Sox in on a 3-game win streak, and winners in seven of the previous nine. Boston’s bullpen even had an extra day of rest after the series finale against the Miami Marlins at Fenway on Sunday was washed out. The Red Sox even sported the second-highest lineup in the AL at 5.08 RPG, but neither the offense nor the bullpen were clicking on Monday.
Walks have been a bit of a problem in Richards’ last three starts, 10 in a little more than 18 innings. But he’s been able to minimize the damage by not allowing a home run, and the Angels won two of the three games. The loss came last Tuesday in Anaheim where the Atlanta Braves posted a 3-1 decision in a contest that closed as a pick 'em at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review).
Richards has plenty of experience against the Astros having spent the bulk of his career with the Los Angeles Angels, even facing them once in 2020 while a member of the San Diego Padres. The California native has faced the Astros 13 times as a starter, with three more relief appearances, and will be pitching in Houston for the first time since 2017. In three career starts and two relief outings at Minute Maid, Richards is 3-0 with a microscopic 0.42 ERA (21 IP).
‘Stros Have Been an ‘Over’ Machine
Dusty Baker has the top offense in baseball at his disposal, and that showed in Monday’s victory. Houston hitters sort of go against the norm in today’s game, ranking 11th in the AL in home runs but hitting for the highest average in the league and striking out the fewest times. That recipe has produced a 34-17-2 O/U/P record on the totals ledger.
After losing Garcia’s first five starts this season, the Astros have won his last three. The fact Garcia has been working deeper into his assignments is part of the reason, since it helps keep Houston manager Dusty Baker from having to go to his shaky bullpen any sooner than he has to. The 24-year-old Venezuelan was solid last Wednesday at home against the Dodgers in a 5-2 triumph, working six innings with just one unearned run scoring in a game that found LA -160 on the MLB odds.
Garcia will be seeing the Red Sox for the first time, with this just his third start against an AL East club during his brief career. He left a start against New York in early-May with the score tied, and the bullpen took the loss eventually. Garcia owns a tidy 1.98 ERA in 27.1 innings at home this year.
Umpire Trends, Roof Report & A Free Pick
Game 2 of the series should find Carlos Torres calling balls and strikes. Now in his seventh big league season, Torres has been a boon to ‘over’ bettors this season with a 7-1 O/U record in his eight plate assignments. His three previous games at the Minute Maid dish have been split three ways, 1-1-1 O/U/P.
It’s getting to that point on the calendar when all baseball bettors should expect Minute Maid Park to be buttoned up. It’s not so much the thermometer right now with temps only climbing into the low-80s today, but there has been steady rain in the Houston area for a couple of weeks now, and it’s lingering with upwards of a 70% chance on Tuesday afternoon. We’ll also be back with a free MLB pick when these two second-place squads close out their series on Wednesday. By the time we get there, it should be the rubber match of the set after Boston evens things up behind Richards tonight in Houston.
*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.