MLB Postseason Picks: Red Sox vs. Astros, Dodgers vs. Braves
The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros kicked off the “Final Four” round of the MLB postseason on Friday night with a thrilling one-run game that went the way of the latter team. Now the championship series round is in full swing on Saturday, as the Red Sox and Houston will do battle once more, before the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves join the fray in the evening.
Let’s go over both contests below and give out our best bets.
Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros, 4:20 p.m. ET, FOX
Sat, October 16 2021, 8:20 PM
BOS Red Sox
Both starters failed to make it out of the third inning in Game 1 of the ALCS. With the way these offenses are going, there’s a chance something similar could happen in Game 2. But we think Houston’s Luis Garcia could outshine Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi at Minute Maid Park.
Garcia was chased early by the Chicago White Sox in his lone start in the ALDS, but that was on the road, where Garcia had a 4.24 ERA during the regular season. He was much more comfortable at home, authoring a 2.39 ERA.
Garcia is a bit walk-prone, but fortunately for him the Red Sox were 18th in walks drawn this year. He held the Boston batters to one run over seven frames in his lone appearance against them in 2021.
José Altuve is the 4th player in #postseason history to hit 20 homers.— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 16, 2021
Manny Ramirez: 29
Bernie Williams: 22
Derek Jeter: 20 pic.twitter.com/YnxAuqJmsS
Eovaldi has been strikeout artist this season, but the Astros were the second-most disciplined lineup in the majors. That may explain why the ‘Stros were able to tag Eovaldi for five runs on 11 hits and three walks in their lone meeting this year.
Jose Altuve is 6-for-19 (.316) lifetime against Eovaldi with three home runs, so look for him to generate offense for Houston here.
MLB pick: Astros -121
Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves, 8:07 p.m. ET, TBS
Sun, October 17 2021, 12:07 AM
The Dodgers’ pitching situation for Game 1 of the NLCS is up in the air after Max Scherzer worked the ninth inning of NLDS Game 5 against the San Francisco Giants. But the Braves have no such worries as they turn to their ace Max Fried on Saturday night.
Fried was baseball’s best second-half pitcher of 2021, as he produced a 1.74 ERA over 14 starts. For good measure, he tossed six shutout innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 2 of the NLDS, striking out nine batters. Fried battled the Dodgers twice this year and held them to three earned runs over 12 combined innings.
Max Fried, Beautiful 77mph Curveball. 🌈 pic.twitter.com/BI286g02Vj— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 9, 2021
Fried should be able to outduel Scherzer on a tight leash, or a Dodgers bullpen led by Tony Gonsolin, who had an 8.68 ERA over nine playoff innings in 2020.
MLB pick: Braves +110