Underdog Red Sox the Play at Astros

Boston Redsox

Willie Bee

Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:32 PM GMT

Sunday, Jun. 18, 2017 4:32 PM GMT

Stuck in a little rut after a fast start to 2017, the Astros are small favorites on the MLB odds to finish off their homestand with a victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Preseason MLB futures odds had everyone in the American League chasing the Boston Red Sox. Instead, the Red Sox and the rest of the league are chasing the Houston Astros as those two clubs prepare for the finale of their weekend set in an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball matchup (8:05 PM ET). David Price and Joe Musgrove oppose each other on the mound with Houston a slight favorite and 9 for the total.

The first two games have been split with Boston taking Friday’s tilt by a 2-1 count and Houston coming back Saturday for a 7-1 victory in a game BetOnline closed the Astros -111. The ‘under’ was a winner each night after all four games in Houston a year ago skipped past the totals, the Red Sox winning three of them.

 

Boston Gets First Look At Musgrove

Elbow issues forced Price to miss most of the first two months, with tonight his fifth start of the campaign and fourth on the road. Boston has split his previous four assignments, and only one has been a real shut-down performance. Walks have plagued him the last two times out, and while batters are only hitting .200 against the lefty so far, they have clubbed five balls out to the bleachers. He beat Houston at Fenway in his only start against the Astros last year.

Musgrove also spent a short stint on the DL recently and he failed to make it through the fifth in his first start back this past week against Texas as slight chalk on the MLB odds. Eight of his 11 assignments have come at home, the Astros only managing to win two of them while Musgrove pitched to a 5+ ERA. Tonight is his career cherry against the BoSox, Mitch Moreland the only name on the roster with any experience against Musgrove.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Next up for plate duty on Sam Holbrook’s crew is Greg Gibson. Now in his 21st season calling MLB games, Gibson doesn’t have any real serious trends to speak of with games running 6-7 O/U when he calls balls and strikes and home favorites 3-4. He did work an ‘under’ earlier this year in Houston, and also called a low-side winner in a Red Sox road game along the way.

We probably shouldn’t expect the roof to be open again at Minute Maid until the Astros get to October baseball; it’s been shut the first two games of the series, and should be again this evening with temps climbing into the mid-to-upper 90s in Houston today. My free baseball pick on Boston has more to do with Musgrove being favored over anyone right now.

Free MLB Pick: Red Sox +109 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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