Red Sox vs Astros MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions May 31

Updated: May 30, 2021

A battle of second-place teams is on the MLB betting board Monday, as the Boston Red Sox head to Texas to take on the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in the first contest of a four-game set.

Boston, a strong 16-7 on the road this season, enters the series on a three-game winning streak and will hand the ball over to lefty Eduardo Rodriguez for the 4:10 p.m. ET Memorial Day start. Houston will counter with a fresh-off-the-injured-list Jose Urquidy.

Check out our best free picks and predictions for Red Sox vs. Astros on May 31.

Red Sox vs Astros game info

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Date: Monday, May 31, 2021
Time: 4:10 p.m. ET

Red Sox vs Astros odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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Red Sox vs Astros betting preview

Starting pitchers

Eduardo Rodriguez (5-3, 5.06 ERA): It’s been an up-and-down season for the talented lefty after he missed all of the 2020 campaign due to COVID complications. Things have gone downhill for Rodriguez after a strong opening month that saw that Red Sox win all four of his starts. He has a 6.48 ERA in five May outings and the team has won just one of those games. Rodriguez is coming off a season-low four-inning performance in which he allowed four runs and matched a season high with three walks.

Jose Urquidy (3-2, 3.22 ERA): Urquidy is making his first start since May 12 after landing on the injured list with a shoulder injury that ended that outing prematurely. He was rolling prior to that, allowing two runs or fewer in four of five starts to help him cut his ERA by two full runs. Though his strikeouts are down, he’s sporting a strong 3.67 strikeout-to-walk rate and 1.03 WHIP.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Red Sox: J.D. Martinez OF (Questionable), Ryan Brasier RP (Out).
Astros: Yordan Alvarez OF (Doubtful), Yuli Gurriel 1B (Questionable), Jason Castro C (Out), Michael Brantley OF (Out), Kent Emmanuel RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 5-0 in the Astros’ last five games versus a left-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Red Sox vs. Astros.

Moneyline pick

A rainout prevented the Red Sox from attempting a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins on Sunday, but it allowed them to rejig their rotation and go with Rodriguez for the series opener instead of Garrett Richards, who was bumped back to Tuesday. For our purposes, that matters a lot. 

Though Richards is far from spectacular, he has thrown better than the southpaw Rodriguez and the Astros hit lefties hard. 

The Astros rank second in baseball against left-handers in FanGraphs’ weighted runs created plus, with a mark that’s 20 percent better than league average. They are first in batting average and third in on-base percentage, getting big production out of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Yuli Gurriel, who is questionable for Monday with a thumb injury. 

Though Rodriguez is certainly better than what he has shown — he has fanned a batter per inning for his career and was 3.7 WAR in 2019, posting a 3.81 ERA — his results this year have been dismal and Houston isn’t the best get-right matchup for any arm.

With a number of key players either out or questionable for the Astros, including Yordan Alvarez, Rodriguez might escape the punishment he’s been feeling recently (four-plus runs allowed in four of his last five starts) but it’s a lot to ask of him to lead Boston to victory over Houston, which has been strong despite losing six of its last eight games. Four of those defeats came in extra innings. 

While the Astros opened as slight -108 favorites, this game is a pick ’em at most books and we’ll side with the home side as a straight-up winner to begin this series. 

PREDICTION: Houston (-110)

Covers MLB betting analysis

Over/Under pick

There’s plenty to like about Rodriguez’s season despite the ghastly 5.06 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. He’s matching his career-best strikeout rate and has the lowest walk rate of his career, helping lead to personal bests in FIP (3.52) and xFIP (3.30) that look a lot better than his actual earned run average. But he’s getting burned on balls hit in play, with his .368 BABIP the highest mark in the American League among pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings. 

While that will correct itself, it’s far from a guarantee to happen Monday against an Astros team that’s hitting an MLB-best .264 (Boston is second at .261) while plating the most runs per game at 5.22 (the Red Sox are third at 5.13).

Both bullpens have been roughed up repeatedly over the last couple of weeks and we expect them to be active in this game, as Houston’s tough lineup is going to wear down Rodriguez and Urquidy isn’t likely to go too deep coming off an arm injury. Plus, it’s not like Urquidy is getting a cakewalk matchup in his return, either, and his inability to putaway hitters on strikes (6.6 K/9) will bite him in this matchup.

These are the two most difficult teams in baseball to strike out, and Houston gets on base at the third-highest clip in MLB, with Boston placing eighth. Against powerful lineups that are No. 1 (Red Sox) and No. 3 (Astros) in the majors in OPS, this is not a game you mark on your calendar if you’re a pitcher. 

Add it all up and it’s enough for us to side with the Over.

PREDICTION: Over 8.5 (-120)

Red Sox vs Astros betting card

  • Houston (-110)
  • Over (-120)

Picks made on 5/30/2021 at 8:38 p.m. ET

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