In the second of a three-game series between the Houston Astros (5-12) and the Boston Red Sox (8-8) at Minute Maid Park, Mike Fiers (1-1, 6.48 ERA) and Clay Buchholz (0-1, 5.74 ERA) take the mound. The Red Sox won the last game 6-2, and Boston leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Apr. 23 and will air on FS1, RTSW and NESN.
In his most recent outing, Fiers pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four runs and striking out five in a 5-4 victory over the Tigers. The Red Sox were unsuccessful the last time Buchholz pitched. He pitched well, going 6.2 innings, allowing zero runs, striking out two and walking two in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays. Mookie Betts (.278, 14 Rs, 4 HRs, 14 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Red Sox, going 4 for 5 yesterday with three runs and one RBI.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an Houston -125 matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is currently 8.5. The most recent 10-game stretch for the Astros has gone great. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking second in all of baseball with 15 steals.. The Astros don't give up many walks at home to opposing batters at Minute Maid Park, leading the AL with only 1.3 walks allowed per home game.
Boston is one of the top hitting teams in the league, converting .274 of their at-bats for hits. The Red Sox have racked up 13 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league.
So far this season, the Red Sox are 1-0 against the Astros.
Predictions: SU Winner - BOS
Houston has lost all of its games (0-7) when leading after seven innings. However, Boston has won 50% (4-4) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Red Sox managed to give up seven walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Astros who are heading in with a 0-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Astros are 4-2. The Red Sox have a 7-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 16th, Houston is in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 63 this season. Boston ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 80.
Ranking 12th, Boston is in the top half of the league in walks, notching 51 this season. Houston ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 57.
When the Astros hit at least one home run, they are 4-10. When the Red Sox hit at least one homer, they have a 4-5 record.