To say 2022 has been a disappointment for the Boston Red Sox is an understatement. They sit in last place in the American League East and the roster could look very different come tomorrow evening.
But before we find out if they become major sellers before tomorrow’s MLB trade deadline, they’ve got to deal with one of the best teams in baseball when they visit the Houston Astros for the opener of a three-game series.
One of those trade candidates — Nathan Eovaldi — will take the ball for the BoSox tonight. Does he give his team some value as an underdog, or do we continue to fade Boston? Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Red Sox vs. Astros on Monday, August 1.
Red Sox vs Astros odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Astros opened this American League matchup as roughly -180 home favorites and that’s where the line remains as of Monday afternoon. The total hit the board at 8.0 but there has been enough money come in on the Under that sportsbooks are starting to move to 7.5.
Red Sox vs Astros predictions
Picks made on 8/01/2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Red Sox vs Astros game info
• Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
• Date: Monday, August 1, 2022
• First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Red Sox vs Astros betting preview
Nathan Eovaldi (4-3, 4.43 ERA): Eovaldi hasn’t helped his trade value in July, as he’s been in a bit of a slump this month. The right-hander has been rocked to the tune of an 11.08 ERA over his last three starts.
Luis Garcia (8-6, 3.81 ERA): Garcia has been solid if unspectacular for the Astros this season. The right-hander has limited opponents to three earned runs or fewer 14 times over his 18 starts.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
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Betting trend to know
The Over is 14-6 in the Red Sox's last 20 games overall and 6-1-1 in Luis Garcia's last eight starts. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Astros
Red Sox vs Astros picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Run line analysis
The Red Sox have basically been a disaster for the better part of July. Since July 5, they are just 6-17 and have fallen into the basement of the American League East. Over that span, they rank dead last in team ERA while the once powerful offense ranks 21st in batting average and 23rd in OPS.
And as a result, it sounds like Nathan Eovaldi, J.D. Martinez, and even someone like Christian Vasquez could be on their way out the door.
So, it will be interesting to see how focused Eovaldi will be tonight. The right-hander is already in a slump on top of the fact his numbers have been mostly mediocre this season with a 4.23 expected ERA and a .256 opponent batting average.
His last start against the Astros back on May 17 did not go well. Eovaldi lasted just 1 2-3 innings after giving up nine runs (six earned) on eight hits. And the Houston lineup — which ranks fifth in OPS when facing right-handed pitchers — certainly has a chance to put some more runs up on the scoreboard tonight.
On the other side, Garcia has been quietly steady for the Astros with his 3.37 xERA and limiting opponents to a .215 xBA. Now, he faces a slumping Red Sox lineup that will also be missing Rafael Devers and Trevor Story.
Boston's motivation might not be too high heading into this matchup. There is some value here on the Astros run line, as thirteen of the Red Sox’s last 17 losses have come by multiple runs.
Prediction: Astros -1.5 (+120 at DraftKings)
The early money for this American League matchup has come in on the Under, but at 7.5 that number appears just low enough to jump on the other side.
Eovaldi hasn’t knocked off the rust since returning to the Boston rotation and has allowed 16 runs on 23 hits in his first three starts back — pitching against the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Guardians. Now he has to face the Astros, who have scored the third most runs since the All-Star game (4.83 runs per game).
Then there is the Red Sox's bullpen that ranks 25th in ERA and 19th in WHIP. Houston should get close, if not exceed that average in this matchup.
While Garcia has been a solid starter for the Astros, he has still allowed three or more earned runs over four times over his last eight starts, and allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits over four innings back on May 18.
Even with Boston's issues, it is still averaging 3.91 runs per game over this ugly 23-game stretch, and should approach this number against Garcia.
Prediction: Over 7.5 (-115 at FanDuel)
This matchup of starters means there could be a good amount of scoring early in this one, particularly when you consider that the Astros rank fourth in MLB when it comes to first-five inning scoring at 2.79 runs per game. And if Boston does do its share of scoring, it's more likely to come against Garcia instead of the stellar Houston bullpen.
Pick: First five innings Over 4 (-125 at DraftKings)
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