Red Sox vs. Astros MLB Pick For June 17th

by Kevin Roberts
on June 17, 2017

The Boston Red Sox head back to Minute Maid Park for game two of their series with the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Boston stole a 2-1 win on Friday to get the ball rolling and will aim for their fifth win over their last seven games.

Boston enters the night fairly hot, overall, having won 6 of their last 10 games. The Red Sox remain one of the most dangerous lineups in MLB and currently sit just one game back behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.

While the Red Sox could pull into a tie for first place in their division if everything breaks their way tonight, the Astros will surely have other plans. Houston has been even better on the year and short of their game one home loss in this fresh series, they’ve remained red hot with 7 wins in their last 10 games.

Houston continues to run away with the AL West division and what happens tonight won’t play a hand in changing that. The Astros look to defend their home turf tonight, where they’ve gone a startling 22-15 on the year:

Boston Red Sox (-104)
Houston Astros (-116)

This could be another solid spot for Boston to stage a mild upset, but in the eyes of Vegas they’re actually small favorites. This game is probably closer to a wash when you look at both sides, however, as neither of these offenses are fun to bet against.

That pulls us away from picking this game straight up and wondering if we could be headed for a shootout. Looking at this potent offense, it’s pretty likely that another 2-1 outing isn’t in play.

Rick Porcello helps aid that argument, as Boston’s starting pitcher is just 1-3 with a middling 3.76 ERA on the road this year. That actually has him performing way better compared to his weak numbers at Fenway Park, but it still might not be enough to trust Porcello, who continues to give up loads of contact.

Porcello has allowed a staggering 8+ hits in each of his last seven games and 10+ hits three times during that stretch. Unsurprisingly, that contact has led to 10 runs allowed over the last two games and four different instances of 4+ runs. On top of the actual hits he’s given up, Porcello has also allowed way too many fly balls, with hitters getting ahold of his pitches to the tune of 15+ fly balls in five consecutive outings.

Needless to say, Porcello has not been in amazing form and it’s starting to catch up with him. That could especially end up being the case tonight, as he faces a loaded Astros lineup that destroys right-handed pitching, ranking 5th in home runs and 2nd in batting average when it comes to facing right-handed pitching.

The point? Porcello isn’t a strong candidate to stifle these Astros on the road and his recent trend of 5 runs allowed in each of his last two starts could continue.

On the other side Houston sends 23-year old righty David Paulino to the mound to face a dangerous Red Sox offense. Paulino has flashed elite K potential in three starts, but he’s slowed down a but the last two times he’s toed the rubber and he’s also allowed a homer in every outing thus far. He did hold his own at Target Field against the Twins, but hasn’t had to deal with talented offense lately in two middling starts against the Angels and Royals.

Paulino could be in for a rude awakening tonight, as he’ll be tasked with slowing down a Red Sox lineup that also mashes righties. Boston ranks just 26th in deep balls against right-handed pitching, but they sport elite efficiency, ranking 8th in batting average.

It wouldn’t be crazy to see Porcello or Paulino survive, but Vegas puts the Total at 9.5 and these are two of the most talented offenses in the league. Even if we don’t see a ton of long balls, this game is set up to produce a lot of hits and potentially plenty of runs to aim high with the Over.

Pick: Over 9.5 (-105)
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