- The Astros find themselves trailing the Red Sox 2-1 as they host Game 4 of the ALCS
- Can Houston bounce back after a crushing 8-2 loss in Game 3?
- Will Charlie Morton be rusty in his first start since the end of September?
The Houston Astros will try to even the American League Championship Series at two games apiece tonight when they host the surging Boston Red Sox. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:39 PM ET at Minute Maid Park.
Below, find the opening odds, key statistics, weather forecast, and score prediction for tonight’s eagerly anticipated game.
Red Sox vs Astros Opening Odds
|RED SOX +1.5 (-155)||RED SOX +125||OVER 8.5 (EVEN)|
|ASTROS -1.5 (+135)||ASTROS -145||UNDER 8.5 (-120)|
The Red Sox will give the ball to Rick Porcello, who shutout the Astros in relief in Game 2. The former Cy Young winner is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA against Houston this year and has surrendered just one earned run in 6.2 innings in the 2018 playoffs.
Taking the mound for the Astros will be Charlie Morton. The 34-year-old right-hander won a career-high 15 games in 2018 but has yet to appear in the postseason in 2018 after dealing with shoulder issues late in the year. Morton last pitched on September 30th, giving up just one hit over three innings against the Orioles. He’s healthy now, but don’t be surprised if he looks rusty early on.
Red Sox vs Astros Statistical Comparison
|+241 (2nd)||RUN DIFFERENTIAL||+278 (1st)|
|.268 (1st)||TEAM BATTING AVERAGE||.255 (7th)|
|208 (9th)||TEAM HOME RUNS||205 (10th)|
|.339 (1st)||TEAM OBP||.329 (7th)|
|.453 (1st)||TEAM SLUGGING||.425 (8th)|
|.792 (1st)||TEAM OPS||.754 (7th)|
|3.72 (9th)||BULLPEN ERA||3.03 (1st)|
The Red Sox had a clear-cut offensive advantage heading into the ALCS and that’s precisely how things played out in Game 3. Boston put eight runs on the board and chased Houston starter Dallas Keuchel out of the game after just five innings.
JD Martinez awoke from his series slumber with a double, and Steve Pearce and Jackie Bradley Jr. both went yard late in the game. All three players are scheduled to start again tonight with Pearce hitting in the five hole.
Martin Maldonado is expected to return to the lineup tonight after Brian McCann went 0-3 with a strikeout on Tuesday. Tony Kemp will also return to left field as AJ Hinch slots Jose Altuve into the DH spot. The three-time batting champ was two-for-three with two runs and a walk in Game 3. The Astros will need every bit of offense he can generate tonight.
Jose Altuve: “There is no time to feel sorry, there is no time to panic. There is just time tomorrow to come back and win the game.”
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) October 17, 2018
Weather Forecast at Opening Pitch
|WIND SPEED||NNE 11 mph|
The weather shouldn’t be an overriding factor tonight at Minute Maid Park as the temperature is expected to be a pleasant 63.7° at opening pitch.
Red Sox vs Astros Score Prediction
No one was more excited to learn that Charlie Morton would be starting Game 4 than the Red Sox. Boston is batting .341 off the righty with a .953 OPS in 88 at bats. Morton did manage to win one game against the Sox earlier in the season, but his 6.97 ERA against the club doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) October 17, 2018
Complicating matters even further is the fact that the Astros burned through six relievers in Game 3. The bullpen was expected to be a source of strength heading into the series, but it looked awful last night. Closer Roberto Osuna was especially shaky, giving up five earned runs in just 0.2 innings pitched.
Houston still has a shot of winning the ALCS, but they’ll be hard pressed to win tonight. Boston has the momentum and will come away with the win in Game 4.
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