Boston (2-1) at Houston (1-2)
When: Wednesday, October 17th 2018
Where: Minute Maid Park,
Time: 8:39 ET | TV: TBS
Opening Odds: Houston -140/8.5
To say Jackie Bradley, Jr. had a rough season at the plate would be an understatement. The veteran outfielder hit .234 for the season and went through prolonged slumps, but blasted an eighth-inning grand slam on Tuesday to put away Game 3 of the ALCS, as Boston takes a 2-1 series lead into Wednesday’s Game 4 with the Houston Astros. Bradley’s slam was the sixth in Red Sox postseason history, and has put the defending World Series champs in a hole, but there’s no panic with these guys. Houston was down 3-2 in last year’s ALCS before winning the final two to eliminate the New York Yankees. “There’s no pouting around here. There’s no panic around here,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said in his postgame press conference. “It’s just get ready for (Wednesday’s) game.” The Astros scored their two runs off starter Nathan Eovaldi, but for the second straight game, couldn’t get to the Boston bullpen, which held them to one-hit – a Jose Altuve bunt single – over the final three innings. Altuve (knee) served as the DH in Game 3 and Hinch is leaning toward keeping him in that role in Game 4. Red Sox ace Chris Sale (stomach) rejoined the team and will throw a bullpen session Wednesday before the team decides whether or not he will start Thursday’s Game 5.
Pitchers: Red Sox – Rick Porcello (1-0, 1.35) | Astros – Charlie Morton (0-0, 0.00)
Rick Porcello will make his third appearance this postseason and second start. He pitched a scoreless inning of relief in Game of this series and surrendered one run and four hits over five innings against the Yankees in the ALDS and seems fine with the adjusted role. Porcello started a regular season game at Houston on June 3rd and earned the win with 6.1 innings of three-run ball (two earned).
Charlie Morton is coming off the best season of his career with personal bests in both victories (15) and strikeouts (201), but this will be his first appearance of the postseason. Morton has pitched just four innings over the last month with his last outing being a three-inning stint against the Baltimore Orioles on September 30th. He started twice against the Red Sox this season and gave up eight earned runs over 10.1 innings and surrendered three home runs.
The Red Sox came away with a pivotal win on Tuesday and have the momentum in this series. I don’t like the fact that Morton hasn’t pitched in a high-leverage situation in a while and I think Boston takes advantage of that.
Pick: Red Sox +130
- Red Sox are 6-1 in Porcello’s last 7 starts.
- Red Sox are 5-1 in Porcello’s last 6 Wednesday starts.
- Red Sox are 4-1 in Porcello’s last 5 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Red Sox are 22-7 in Porcello’s last 29 starts on grass.
- Red Sox are 8-3 in Porcello’s last 11 road starts.
- Red Sox are 5-2 in Porcello’s last 7 starts vs. American League West.
- Astros are 49-19 in their last 68 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Astros are 52-21 in their last 73 Wednesday games.
- Astros are 87-40 in their last 127 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Astros are 67-31 in their last 98 games on grass.
- Astros are 40-19 in their last 59 overall.
- Astros are 1-4 in Morton’s last 5 home starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 4-0 in Porcello’s last 4 Wednesday starts.
- Over is 5-0 in Porcello’s last 5 starts vs. American League West.
- Under is 5-1 in Porcello’s last 6 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 5-0 in Morton’s last 5 starts vs. American League East.
- Under is 8-2-1 in Morton’s last 11 starts on grass.
- Under is 8-2-1 in Morton’s last 11 starts overall.
- Under is 7-2 in Morton’s last 9 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 6-2 in Morton’s last 8 starts following a team loss in their previous game.
- Under is 13-6-1 in Morton’s last 20 home starts.