Astros at Red Sox Game 5 Betting Preview: Pivotal Game 5 Could Determine Who Wins the Series
After four games filled with grand slams, clutch hitting, struggling pitching, and questionable umpiring, this roller coaster of a series enters Game 5 with the Red Sox and Astros tied at two games apiece.
While Game 1 was competitive, the last three games have all resulted in blowout victories. Will Game 5 give us a close ballgame or another lopsided affair?
Let’s take a look at the game preview and MLB betting odds for Game 5 of the ALCS.
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Betting Odds & Betting Lines
Betonline has Houston at -120 and Boston at +100.
Astros Preview: Trust in Momentum
Yes, the Red Sox hitters demolished the baseball through Games 2 and 3; there is no denying that. But as of now, the Astros are the team that just posted nine runs at the Fenway Park while holding the Red Sox to just two runs. Momentum has shifted in favor of Houston.
The Astros have also retaken home-field advantage, as following Game 5, the series shifts back to Houston for the final two matchups to determine the winner of this ALCS.
LHP Framber Valdez will make his second start of the series on Wednesday afternoon. Valdez labored through 2.2 innings in Game 1, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while walking three and striking out 2. It was certainly far from a top-notch start, to say the least.
Nonetheless, he has become the ace of the staff because of Lance McCullers injury and Zach Greinke’s struggles, and Houston believes in the left-hander to take charge of this rotation. The Astros finally found a way to tame the scorching hot Red Sox lineup in Game 4, and they will look for more of the same in Game 5 with Valdez on the hill.
With the Houston lineup heating up and a reliable starter on the mound, the Astros are in a good spot entering this crucial game.
Red Sox Preview: Sale the Stopper
There is more to being an ace than just starting on Opening Day. The ace of a pitching staff is a guy who shows up after a tough loss and holds the opposing offense to a limited amount of runs the next day. The Red Sox are calling on their ace in LHP Chris Sale with exactly that goal in mind.
Similar to Valdez, Sale also only lasted 2.2 innings in Game 1. However, he allowed only one run on five hits with two strikeouts. Boston is going to need a more valiant effort than that in this arguable must-win game, and they are confident Sale can get the job done.
But in the end, this is a Red Sox team that relies on their offense. While their lineup mustered all of 5 hits on Tuesday night, this is the same team that produced 21 runs over the course of 2 games through Games 2 and 3.
Game 5 X-Factors
This may come as a surprise, but one player I believe could play an instrumental role for the Red Sox on Wednesday is infielder Christian Arroyo. Arroyo is a respectable 4-14 through the first four games of the ALCS and has a batting average over .300 lifetime against Framber Valdez.
Typically hitting near the bottom of the lineup, if Arroyo is able to reach base multiple times in this game, that could set up plenty of RBI opportunities for the top of the order.
Arroyo might be the spark that Boston needs to get them back on track.
For Houston, arguably the hottest hitter on their team, bats near the bottom of the lineup. Yuli Gurriel is 6-14 in the series with one home run, three RBI’s, and two walks. Gurriel is also one of the few hitters on the Astros with previous success against Sale as he sports a career .375 batting average against the lefty.
Without the contributions of Gurriel, there is no telling if the Astros would even be in this series.
Prediction: The Game 5 Winner is…
Despite the strong pitching matchup, I don’t expect either guy to work too deep into this one. That puts both managers in difficult spots as both bullpens were overworked in Game 4, with each team using five relief arms apiece.
This feels like an extremely even contest from a preview standpoint, but with momentum on the side of Houston, I will take the Astros as my MLB betting pick for Game 5.