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MLB Betting Picks – ALCS Odds and Preview

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Oct/14/2021

There will be a new American League champion this season, though the club that represents the junior circuit is a familiar one. The Boston Red Sox knocked off the AL-best Tampa Bay Rays in a division series while the Houston Astros advanced to their fifth straight ALCS by routing the Chicago White Sox. The teams fought for the pennant in 2018 with the Red Sox winning four straight after dropping Game 1. Boston went on to win its fourth World Series title since 2004 and ninth overall.


The Sox won 108 regular season games in 2018 and were a favorite to win the Commissioner’s Trophy. They had no such expectations this year and didn’t qualify for the postseason until the final weekend of the season. While some of the names have changed the Astros remain a threat with their World Series window still wide open. The early betting line has the Astros as a -155 favorite to advance to their third World Series during their current postseason run.

2021 ALCS Odds

Boston Red Sox +130
Houston Astros -155

The Astros had the second-best record in the AL at 95-67 and earned home field advantage for the best of seven series when the Sox knocked off top-seed Tampa Bay. Houston also got the better of Boston during the regular season winning five of the seven games while outscoring the Sox 42-25. With both teams lacking a true ace to anchor the pitching staff the series will come down to which team has the better offense. Boston averaged 6.5 runs in its 3-1 series win over Tampa Bay that included getting shutout in the opener. Houston scored 31 runs scoring at least six runs in all four games against the White Sox.

This ALCS gets underway on Friday, October 15 with betting options for every game available at BookMaker.eu.

Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros ALCS Schedule

Game 1: Red Sox at Astros, Friday, October 15 (FOX)
Game 2: Red Sox at Astros, Saturday, October 16
Game 3: Astros at Red Sox, Monday, October 18 (FS1)
Game 4: Astros at Red Sox, Tuesday, October 19 (FS1)
Game 5: Astros at Red Sox, Wednesday, October 20 (if necessary) (FS1)
Game 6: Red Sox at Astros, Friday, October 22 (if necessary) (FS1)
Game 7: Red Sox at Astros, Saturday, October 23 (if necessary)

Offense

No doubt these teams can rake the baseball. They were two of three teams to finish the regular season with a team batting average above .260. Houston led the majors at .267 compiling nearly 1,500 hits. Boston wasn’t too far behind with a .261 average. The Astros also led the majors averaging 5.33 runs.

Houston has its usual suspects back in the postseason. The double-play combo of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa is not only good defensively the two are mainstays at the plate combining for 57 of the team’s 221 regular season homers. The Astros will also benefit from having Alex Bregman back in the lineup. Bregman played in just 91 games during the season hitting .270 with 12 homers. Saddled with injuries, a healthy Bregman could be the missing link. Two years ago he hit 41 homers with 112 RBIs and a 1.015 OPS.

Boston heated up at the right time with explosive bats to take down the Yankees in the Wild Card and Tampa in the Division Series. They’re hitting an absurd .328 with 11 homers this postseason. Kike Hernandez has been a revelation this postseason with a .435 average and two homers among his 10 hits. J.D. Martinez is batting .467 with seven hits in 15 at bats. The Sox didn’t have a regular hit above .300 during the season, but five players with 400 ABs hit .266 or higher. It’s a well rounded lineup with no significant holes.

Pitching

As I stated neither club has a true ace on its staff. The Astros needed someone to take over with Justin Verlander sidelined for the season and Zach Greinke underachieving. There were a few candidates with Lance McCullers Jr. putting together his finest season in the bigs. Always a prospect, McCullers stepped up going 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. The Astros won both of his starts in the LDS when he allowed only one run over 10.2 innings. However, he exited Game 4 with forearm tightness and his status for this series is unknown. Houston had the seventh-best ERA during the regular season with 66 quality starts.

Nathan Eovaldi is the closest thing the Sox have to an ace. He was 11-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 32 regular season starts and allowed three runs in 10.1 innings of his two playoff stints. Boston would benefit from a Chris Sale comeback. He was 5-1 in his nine regular season appearances but was rocked in his only playoff outing. The bullpen has been outstanding posting a 3.00 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in the postseason.

Bet Red Sox at Rays at BookMaker.eu

I have to admit I’m not a fan of either team. But the series should be exciting with the amount of offense expected on the field. Houston has a little more punch and their experienced playoff roster will prove to be the deciding factor, though.

ALCS Prediction: Houston Astros in 6

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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