The Boston Red Sox will face a familiar foe when they open their American League Division Series matchup with the Houston Astros on Thursday as +135 underdogs on the MLB series prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Astros made the Boston faithful nervous in last weekend’s schedule-ending series at Fenway Park, taking the first two games of a four-game set and delaying the celebration of the Red Sox’s AL East title until Boston’s 6-3 win as +101 underdogs on Saturday afternoon.
Houston subsequently closed out the campaign with a 4-3 victory as -132 chalk Sunday, improving to 4-2 in its past six games against Boston heading into Thursday afternoon’s Red Sox vs. Astros Game 1 matchup at Minute Maid Park.
The Red Sox enter the postseason looking to erase the memory of their dismal performance in last season’s ALDS against Cleveland when they were swept by the Indians in three games while being favored to win the American League pennant.
This year the Red Sox find themselves in the middle of the pack on the World Series odds entering the postseason, sitting alongside the defending-champion Chicago Cubs at +800. Pegged at +600 as recently as mid-July, Boston failed to gain ground on the World Series favorites despite a 14-3 run in mid-September that assured them of a postseason berth.
The club has won just two of seven overall since seeing that hot streak snapped, and travel to Houston with a middling 4-5 record in its past nine road dates with the Astros according to the OddsShark MLB Database. The Red Sox managed to take two of three in Houston in mid-June, but still were outscored by 13-8 overall margin and have tallied three or fewer runs in five of nine road games against the Astros.
After closing out the regular season on a 15-3 run and capturing first place in the AL West by 21 games, the Astros enter the ALDS perched as -165 chalk on the MLB series prices.
Houston also has held steady on the World Series odds at +500, trailing only the Indians and the favored Los Angeles Dodgers. But with the exception of their march to the World Series in 2005, when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox, the Astros have been historically weak postseason performers, recording just one postseason series win in nine appearances.
The Astros also have dropped four of their past five postseason contests on home turf, but feasted on home cooking this season, recording a 48-33 record that was powered by a 15-6 run in their final 21 contests at Minute Maid Park.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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