The Houston Astros (74-58) and Boston Red Sox (69-62) are set to begin a three-game series that will have enormous ramifications throughout the American League playoff picture. The Red Sox are hanging on for their postseason life (they’re 4.5 games back in the Wild Card with division rival Toronto ahead of them), while the Astros are a game back in the AL West behind the red-hot Mariners. Houston will send Cristian Javier (9-2, 4.52 ERA) to the mound in Monday’s series finale, while Boston will counter with Chris Sale (5-3, 4.68 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Red Sox are -125 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Astros at +105. The total is set at 10.
Astros-Red Sox picks: Monday, August 28
Out: INF Grae Kessinger (health and safety protocols), OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery)
Day-to-day: 3B Rafael Devers (right wrist)
Out: RP Brennan Bernardino (health and safety protocols), OF Jarren Duran (left toe contusion)
Cristian Javier vs. Chris Sale
Javier’s last start also came against the Red Sox, and he picked up the win despite giving up three runs on seven hits in five innings. That lack of length has been a theme for him lately, as he’s only gone more than five innings in two of his last 10 starts. He’s 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA over his last seven starts, and has a 3.50 ERA in 18 career innings against Boston.
Like Javier, Sale will be making back-to-back starts against the opposing side, as he allowed four earned runs on six hits in five innings in Houston last week. He’s also struggled with length in his return from the injured list, as that start was the first time he’d gone five innings in his three starts since coming back from a nearly two-month stint on the shelf. He’s pitched well against Houston in his career, as he boasts a 2.56 ERA in 70.1 career innings against the club.
I’m going with the over here. It hit in three of the four games these teams played in last week (with the fourth game being a push), and I can’t see that trend changing in tonight’s game, as both starters looked pedestrian in their start against the opposing club last week.
Pick: Over 10
The Red Sox pick up a huge win. They’ll need to play near-perfect baseball over the last month of the season to secure a postseason spot, and I think they get an early head start on that with a win on Monday.
Pick: Red Sox