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2021 Series Preview: Houston Astros @ Boston Red Sox

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The Astros (33-26, 2nd in AL West) head to New England for a mid week series against the Red Sox (37-23, 2nd in AL East). Also, Altuve was safe.

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox
Never Forget
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Narrative

The Red Sox begin this series in pretty much the same spot they were in when they came to Houston last week. An elite offense that’s surging in the standings and fighting for the number one spot in the East against the Rays. On top of that they have won 5 straight, including a 3 game sweep over the 4th place Yankees (tee hee) and a make up game against the Marlins.

Boston’s offense has scored at least 5 runs in each of the games during their current streak and remains one of the more dangerous group of bats in the league. As a group they are slashing .258/.317/.438 and lead the league by a healthy margin in doubles (136). However, they are dead last when it comes to walks (160) and are right in the middle of the league for strikeouts (528), which is a rather terrible ratio for such a good offensive team.

Meanwhile, Boston pitching remains just slightly above average in comparison to rest of the league. In fairness, pitching has been dominant this season so a group ERA of 3.81 is good for only 11th in MLB. Their WHIP (1.34, 22nd in MLB) and BAA (.249, 23rd in MLB) suggests that the ERA is more illusion than reality.

The stats for Red Sox relievers also suggest that most of the damage done has come from the starters. Still, they’re pretty much just a slightly better reflection of the rotation with an ERA (3.52) that punches above its weight in comparison to WHIP (1.35) and BAA (.234).

As we round the quarter mark of the season Boston continues to hold sway in the East along with the Rays. They definitely burnished their bona fides after sweeping the Yankees in NY over the weekend and now sit just a half game behind Tampa. They will look to avenge themselves against the Astros, who were just the second team to hand them a series loss on the road this season, and keep pace with the Rays.

Quick Notes

More of the Same: To be honest, not much has changed since the Astros played Boston last week. Martinez, Devers, and Bogaerts all still have OPS’s north of .900. Devers is still hitting a ton of doubles. Matt Barnes is still an elite closer. Garrett Whitlock is still a Rule 5 gem that’s proving he’s ready for The Show. And I still love Darwinzon Hernandez’s name.

So for this series’ Quick Notes all you get is a pat on the back to myself for getting it right the first time. Good job, me.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Framber Valdez (LHP, 1-0, 1.64 ERA, 14 K’s) vs Martin Perez (LHP, 4-2, 3.09 ERA, 52 K’s)

Martin Perez makes his second consecutive start against the Astros after he had his way against them in MMP last week. Perez went 7.2 scoreless innings in that one, scattering 6 hits and walking just one batter. He’s been stellar over his last 4 starts, pitching to a 1.82 ERA across 24.2 innings.

Game 2: Jake Odorizzi (RHP, 0-3, 7.16 ERA, 17 K’s) vs Nathan Eovaldi (RHP, 7-2, 3.78 ERA, 65 K’s)

Houston native Nathan Eovaldi comes into this game after three good starts where he’s gone at least five innings and surrendered two runs or less. Though he has been better of late, Eovaldi’s home ERA of 4.47 is almost two runs higher than when he’s on the road, suggesting that home cooking isn’t exactly to his liking. This will be his first start against Houston in a Red Sox uniform, his previous one coming in 2018 when he was still a member of the Rays.

Game 3: Zack Greinke (RHP, 6-2, 3.38 ERA, 60 K’s) vs Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP, 5-4, 5.59 ERA, 65 K’s)

Eduardo Rogriguez has been through the ringer during his recent starts, as shown by a 7.92 ERA in his past five games. That includes a 4.2 IP performance against Houston where he gave up 6 runs before being yanked. His most recent start against the Yankees was only a little bit of a stinker, where he gave up 3 runs in 5.1 IP.

For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Tuesday, June 8th @ 6:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010 / Red Sox - WEEI 93.7, WCCM 1490 AM/103.7 FM, WAMG 94.9/890 AM
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Red Sox - NESN

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Game 2: Wednesday, June 9th @ 6:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010 / Red Sox - WEEI 93.7, WCCM 1490 AM/103.7 FM, WAMG 94.9/890 AM
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Red Sox - NESN

Game 3: Thursday, June 10th @ 6:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010 / Red Sox - WEEI 93.7, WCCM 1490 AM/103.7 FM, WAMG 94.9/890 AM
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Red Sox - NESN / MLB Network (out-of-market only)

Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (16 votes)
  • 61%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (77 votes)
  • 20%
    Red Sox Win 2-1
    (26 votes)
  • 4%
    Red Sox Sweep 3-0
    (6 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now