The Astros got eight innings out of Framber Valdez in Game 5 of the ALCS. Will they be able to get anywhere close to that same production from Luis Garcia in Game 6 against the Red Sox? Let’s take a look at the MLB odds and decide which way to lean on BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
Friday, October 22, 2021 – 08:08 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
- Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA)
- Astros: Luis Garcia (11-8, 3.30 ERA)
The ALCS is back in Houston where the Astros could clinch the series, leading them into the World Series again.
This year was supposed to be the revenge tour for all teams and fans going against the Astros. Fans weren't allowed in the stands last season due to the pandemic, and therefore, had this year to mock the Astros for their cheating scandal.
Currently, teams and fans still believe that the Astros are cheating, with sign stealing and whatever else. None of this is actually confirmed but it wouldn’t be surprising after all.
Anyway, the Astros will send out Luis Garcia, a rookie right-hander that has looked awful in the postseason. He’s gone 3.2 innings while allowing 10 runs on seven hits and six walks. In those 3.2 innings, he’s thrown 101 pitches and induced just two ground balls. One of those starts was against the Red Sox, on Saturday.
Garcia has an xFIP of 5.09 in the last 30 days with 16.7 percent walks in that same time span. He’s giving up 53.3 percent hard contact but has been able to induce ground balls at 50 percent along with keeping line drives down at just 7.1 percent.
However, Garcia has been extremely unlucky, giving up a BABIP of .417. While it’s absolutely a little lucky, it doesn’t help when you’re allowing 53.3 percent hard contact. Your fielders will struggle to make plays off rocket shots, on the ground or in the air.
Garcia has really performed badly against lefties, allowing a .613 wOBA and ISO of .600 in his last 30 plate appearances against lefties. Righties have a .367 wOBA and ISO of .200 in Garcia’s last 18 plate appearances against them, which is still way above the average for a pitcher.
The Red Sox lineup has destroyed right-handed pitching recently. In the last 30 days, the projected lineup has an ISO of .281 and wOBA of .388 with 11.1 percent walks and just 22.8 percent strikeouts.
The top of the order can do so much damage between Kyle Schwarber, Enrique Hernandez, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez. These guys have accumulated an extremely high ISO and wOBA against righties in the last 30 days. Martinez also hit a grand slam against Garcia on Saturday.
The Red Sox bats are set for an explosion and while I wouldn’t count out the Astros against Nathan Eovaldi, I’d much rather turn to the Red Sox bats against Garcia. If Eovaldi doesn’t have it, the Red Sox will move much quicker with giving him the hook.
Meanwhile, the Astros can be a bit relaxing knowing there’s always tomorrow.
For our MLB pick, I’m going to take Rafael Devers over 1.5 total bases at +110. He’s got a .440 ISO and wOBA of .420 in the last 30 days against righties and has hit 29.4 percent line drives while limiting ground balls to just 23.5 percent in the last 30 days.
There’s a great chance he hits an extra-base hit or knocks two hits in this game.
MLB Pick: Rafael Devers Over 1.5 Total Bases (+110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.