The Houston Astros are set to visit the Boston Red Sox for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. It's been a pretty fun series to this point with lots of scoring and I'm not seeing any reason that'll change. That might hint at the direction we're headed with the picks below, so let's get to it.
As has been and will continue to be the case, I'm doing the game picks over on SportsLine. I've gone 15-6-1 thus far in the playoffs -- and that was after an 0-1-1 (moneyline and over/under pick) start in the AL Wild Card Game -- so hop on over there and subscribe.
In this space, we'll focus on props, the over/under and other fun.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Over 9, -120
I love the Astros offense in this one. They feast on lefties, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez had a 5.95 ERA at home in the regular season and the Astros crushed him twice (12 ER in 9 1/3 IP). They didn't hit the ball very well, relatively speaking, in Games 1 and 2 but that still scored 10 runs on 19 hits. They hit .284/.333/.478 and it just didn't feel like they were all the way there. That's a sleeping giant, right?
By the same token, the Red Sox are pretty damn powerful. With Enrique Hernandez going the way he is alongside the likes of Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Kyle Schwarber and Xander Bogaerts, that's a lineup that can kill you at any moment, as we saw in Game 2 with the two early grand slams. Astros starter Jose Urquidy has a good track record and threw well against the Red Sox May 31, but he also hasn't pitched since Oct. 3.
Nine is a high over, to be clear, but not ridiculously so. A 6-4 final gets us home.
Astros win the first inning, +285
We hit the Dodgers winning the first inning Sunday night, so we're going back to the well here. I think the Astros get to Rodriguez early in this one while Urquidy throws well at least at the beginning. If you really wanna get nuts, exactly one run pays +320, two runs would be +525 and three or more is +450. Two at +525 feels pretty good to me.
Carlos Correa homers, +500
It's difficult to nail who is going to hit a home run, as any regular readers know, but it's so fun when it happens that I can't pass it up. Jose Altuve at +400 was the other consideration. He's a home run machine in the playoffs and has gone 5 for 13 (.385) with a home run in his career against Rodrîguez.
Correa, however, has to feel unbelievably comfortable against Rodrîguez. In his career, he's 6 for 10 with five walks against him. He hasn't yet homered, but that'll change early in Game 3. I'm calling a Correa homer in his first plate appearance, unless he walks. Maybe it'll be a first-inning grand slam and we can clean up with these picks.