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Best Bet for the ALCS Game 6: Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros

by October 22, 2021
Nathan Eovaldi

The Houston Astros are becoming a mainstay in the World Series, as they are one win away from their third World Series appearance in the last five seasons. 63 best-of-seven postseason series have been tied after four games, and the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 44 times (70% of the time). Will the Astros continue that trend and clinch the pennant with a win tonight, or will the Boston Red Sox force a Game 7 and keep Houston’s champagne on ice for one more night? Maybe the better question is, will these teams cash a sixth straight over?

Here is my best bet for Friday’s ALCS playoff action. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

YTD: 195-164-8 (+14.44 units) 

Red Sox-Astros UNDER 9 runs (-110)

In the introduction to this article, we pointed out how vital Game 5’s are when a series is tied 2-2. Houston starting pitcher Framber Valdez seized that moment and became the second visiting starting pitcher to throw eight or more innings and allow three or fewer hits in a postseason game at Fenway Park. The only other play to do that was Hall of Famer Bob Gibson in the 1967 World Series. MLB Stats on Twitter added another historical feat that Valdez accomplished.

Houston’s bats exploded at precisely the right time in Games 4 and 5. The Astros, at one point, scored 15 unanswered runs, with the last eight runs of Game 4 and the first seven runs of Game 5.

The over has cashed in all five games of this series, making a wager on the under seem blasphemous. However, Boston’s offense is reeling after batting .131 as a team in their last two games, and they are 0-for-13 in their previous 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Baseball is a streaky game, and the Red Sox do not inspire confidence they will break out tonight, even against Astros pitcher Luis Garcia who left his Game 2 start after one inning with a knee strain.

The Red Sox are 17-7 in 24 playoff games under manager Alex Cora. Before their Game 5 loss, they had never lost back-to-back postseason games with Cora as manager and had a run differential of +32 in those games. While those trends support Boston’s chances of winning tonight, we instead use these trends to suggest that starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is due to throw a gem. Eovaldi was rocked in a relief performance in Game 4, allowing four earned runs in 0.2 innings. However, though that appearance was similar to a bullpen session, it was a tough ask for Eovaldi to break from his usual routine and get warm much more quickly than when he prepared to start a game. Aside from that rough relief outing, Eovaldi is 2-0 this postseason and has allowed an OBA of .200.

In Game 4, the two teams combined for four runs entering the ninth inning. In Game 5, the under would have cashed if not for two Houston runs in the ninth inning. These teams are due to hit the under at least once in this series, and we like it to happen tonight.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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