The Houston Astros will try to make it 10 wins in a row Saturday night when they face the Boston Red Sox. Despite being the road team, the Astros are -115 favorites to win.
The Red Sox have successfully put a poor April behind them. They are 10-4 since the calendar flipped to May, taking them two games over .500. However, they still have plenty of ground to make up in the AL East, sitting 4.5 games behind the first-place Yankees and four games behind Tampa Bay, so they need to keep their foot on the gas.
Meanwhile, the Astros are tied with the Dodgers for the most wins in baseball at 30 following Friday’s win in Boston. As mentioned, they have won nine straight, as well as 12 of their last 13 games. Houston has opened up an 8.5-game lead over the rest of the AL West, once again taking full control of that division.
New Kid on the Block
Rookie Corbin Martin starts for the Astros on Saturday. This will be just the second career start for the 23-year-old. Martin looked good in his first start, earning the win after allowing two runs on just three hits over 5.1 innings against the Rangers. He also struck out nine and walked only one, showing off the kind of control the Astros think will eventually make him a solid mid-rotation starter.
Of course, after containing a strong Texas lineup, Martin will have another big challenge against the Red Sox. Offensively, the Red Sox have started to click on all cylinders after a few guys struggled early in the season. J.D. Martinez is one of the hottest hitters in the league right now, hitting .421 with four home runs over his last five games. Xander Bogaerts is nearly as hot while youngsters Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis are helping to provide plenty of depth in Boston’s lineup.
Just Filling In
Hector Velazquez will start for the Red Sox on Saturday. He continues to start games for Boston with David Price and Nathan Eovaldi on the IL. In his last start, Velazquez was stretched out all the way to five innings, giving up just two runs on two hits to the Mariners. Between his six starts and six relief outings, Velazquez owns a 3.95 ERA this season, so he’s generally been dependable and able to keep the Red Sox in games.
Obviously, that task will become more difficult against the Astros. The likes of George Springer, Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman have each hit 10 or more home runs this season and are looking like safe bets to be All-Stars this year. Also, with Jose Altuve on the IL, Aledmys Diaz has stepped up, hitting .421 over his last six games, including three home runs.
Make it 10!
With nine straight wins on the trot, it’s tough to bet against the Astros. Obviously, the Red Sox are good enough to snap that winning streak. But Velazquez could have a hard time keeping the Astros off the scoreboard the way they’ve been swinging the bats. Bet on the Astros -115 to win Saturday night.