- The Red Sox have the Astros on the ropes after a decisive win in Game 4 of the ALCS
- Can Houston bounce back with Justin Verlander on the mound?
- Will David Price redeem himself and seal the deal with a rare October win?
The fate of the Astros’ season rests in the hands of Justin Verlander. The former Cy Young winner will take the mound tonight with Houston trailing Boston three games to one in their best-of-seven American League Championship series. His ability to silence Boston’s bats will determine if the Astros live to play another day or miss out on a return trip to the World Series. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. ET. from 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 at Bovada
|RED SOX +1.5 (-120)||RED SOX +167||OVER 8.0 (-120)|
|ASTROS -1.5 (EVEN)||ASTROS -194||UNDER 8.0 (EVEN)|
Chris Sale was scheduled to start Game 5, but the Red Sox ace is still on the mend after being hospitalized with a stomach illness following his Game 1 start at Fenway Park.
Alex Cora will instead give the ball to David Price. The five-time All-Star redeemed himself slightly by not blowing his Game 2 assignment, but is now sporting a 9.95 ERA in his two starts this postseason. For those of you keeping track at home, Price is 2-9 with a 5.42 ERA lifetime in the playoffs.
Taking the mound for the Astros will be Justin Verlander who, in many ways, is the Anti-Price. The 6’5″ righty pitched six solid innings in Houston’s Game 1 win and is now 13-6 with a 3.08 ERA in 23 postseason starts. Verlander was MVP of the 2017 ALCS and has a well-earned reputation for saving his best performances for when it matters most.
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)|
About Last Night
The Red Sox can thank Andrew Benintendi for their epic Game 4 win on Wednesday night. The gritty left fielder went two for five with a pair of doubles, and came up with a spectacular diving catch in the bottom of the ninth to end a bases-loaded rally.
Jackie Bradley Jr. also did some damage with another deep bomb, and Rafael Devers came through with a pair of RBIs. The sophomore third baseman is now hitting a robust .444 in the series.
Weather Forecast at Opening Pitch
|WIND SPEED||NE 7 mph|
The weather shouldn’t be an overriding factor tonight at Minute Maid Park as the temperature is expected to be a pleasant 71.4° at opening pitch.
Red Sox vs Astros Score Prediction
The Price is wrong for the Red Sox. Boston would likely be favored to finish off the ALCS tonight if Sale was healthy and on the mound, but the club will have to depend upon David Price instead. The 33-year-old southpaw gave up four earned runs in just 4.2 innings in his last start against Houston and has been hit harder than a rented mule in his last few postseason outings.
Verlander is 6-1 in the postseason since joining the Astros in 2017, and has given up just 13 earned runs over 48 innings.
Verlander, on the other hand, has been Houston’s good luck charm. The seven-time All-Star is 6-1 in the postseason since joining the Astros in 2017, and has given up just 13 earned runs over 48 innings. He’s the undisputed ace of the best rotation in baseball and should deliver in the clutch once again tonight.
The ALCS is still very much up for grabs, but Game 5 will belong to the Astros. In the words of former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”