The Boston Red Sox let one get away last night against the Houston Astros in the first game of the ALCS. The Red Sox were up 3-1 in the sixth inning, only to lose 5-4, in a game that the Red Sox would’ve loved to steal on the road.
The Astros are already shorthanded in the starting rotation, with Lance McCullers Jr. off the ALCS roster due to an injury. The Red Sox couldn’t take advantage of Chris Sale, but with Luis Garcia on the mound for Game 2, the Red Sox will get another opportunity to score some runs and steal a game on the road.
Here are our picks and predictions for the Red Sox vs Astros ALCS Game 2.
Red Sox vs Astros odds
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Red Sox vs Astros picks
Picks made on 10/16/2021 at 8:20 a.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: Saturday, October 16, 2021
• Time: 4:20 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX, FS1
Red Sox vs Astros betting preview
Nathan Eovaldi (Postseason: 1-0, 2.61 ERA): Eovaldi has been electric in the postseason for the Red Sox. He held the New York Yankees to one run in 5.1 innings in Boston’s Wild Card win and went five strong innings against the Tampa Bay Rays where he allowed two runs on three hits and struck out eight. Those two games were at home, but today, he’ll be pitching on the road. We’ll see if that has any effect on his outing.
Luis Garcia (Postseason: 0-0, 16.88 ERA): Luis Garcia was one of the better American League rookies this season. He went 11-8 with a 3.30 ERA and had respectable numbers all year long. However, in his postseason start against the White Sox on October 10, Garcia was lit up on the road, allowing five runs on five hits in 2.2 innings. He also walked three and struck out three while giving up one home run.
Red Sox vs Astros series odds
Red Sox: +230
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Red Sox: Phillips Valdez RP (Out)
Astros: Jose Siri CF (Questionable), Jake Meyers CF (Questionable)
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Red Sox are 6-0 in their last six games vs. a right-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Astros.
Red Sox vs Astros predictions
Red Sox (+120)
It’s been an ugly last 30 days for Houston pitcher Luis Garcia. Against his last 62 batters faced, Garcia has an xFIP of 5.07 with 17.7 percent strikeouts and 12.9 percent walks. His BABIP sits at .359 and he’s getting rocked by his last 39 lefties faced, with a wOBA of .471 and an ISO of .400.
Righties haven’t been bad either, hitting a .362 wOBA in their last 23 plate appearances against Garcia.
Garcia has now allowed 11 runs in his last 7.2 innings of work dating back to his last regular-season start on September 29. In those last two games, Garcia has allowed three home runs, five walks and has induced just five ground balls while giving up 12 fly balls.
The Red Sox have hit righties very well in the last 30 days with a .235 ISSO and wOBA of .365. On top of that, Boston has limited ground balls as a lineup to 33.1 percent in that same time frame.
On the other hand, Nathan Eovaldi, as discussed earlier, has been dominant and easily the most consistent starter for this team in the last couple of weeks. Eovaldi has a 2.58 xFIP with 28.7 percent strikeouts and five percent walks.
He has struggled a bit against lefties, with a wOBA of .359 and ISO of .300 in the last 32 plate appearances against lefties, but overall he’s still been able to keep ground balls low and the line drive rate down.
Therefore, I’ll roll with the Red Sox to take the second game of the series.
Over 8.5 (-115)
I’ve really enjoyed watching Eovaldi pitch in the postseason and have to acknowledge his dominance. However, the Astros have 22 hits in 67 at-bats against Eovaldi for an OPS of 1.035.
As much as I’d love to ignore these numbers, I just can’t. Eovaldi has been tremendous but, at home, the Astros offense always finds a way.
On the other hand, the Red Sox offense can put this game out of reach early against Garcia, who has been rocked in his last two starts.
The Red Sox struggled against Garcia the first time they faced him, with just five hits in 23 at-bats, but tonight should have a different feel. The top of the lineup between Kyle Schwarber, Enrique Hernandez, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts has so much power and it should all be on display tonight.
Let’s take the Over in this one.
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