MLB Monday best bets: Astros' bats to shine
We've seen a rather explosive series thus far, with both sides swinging the sticks effectively. The Astros squeezed out a 5-4 win in Game 1 and the Red Sox answered by beating up on Houston's pitching en route to a 9-5 win in Game 2.
Let's take a look at the best way to attack this game.
Eduardo Rodriguez is a good pitcher - perhaps even a very good pitcher - but this is not a good matchup for him at all.
We'll start with the basics: Houston has mashed left-handed pitching all year long, leading the majors in wRC+ (117) against lefties during the regular season. The Astros also ranked fourth in wOBA%, fourth in ISO, and knocked in 25 more RBIs than the next closest team versus left-handed pitchers.
Rodriguez is not exempt from Houston's consistent ability to knock lefties around the park. The Astros own a weighted on-base percentage of .396 against E-Rod and his FIP sits at 6.70 in those meetings.
The picture doesn't look any better when looking at basic numbers either - it might actually look worse. The Astros have absolutely destroyed Rodriguez, plating 24 runs in 25 innings against him since he entered the majors.
If Houston can continue that success and notch a few early runs against Rodriguez, the club will be well on its way to surpassing its team total of 4.5.
That's why betting on the Astros' offense is the best way to approach this game. Jose Urquidy is rather mediocre and not someone I would bet to silence the Red Sox; especially given his struggles with the long ball. Urquidy allowed 1.43 homers per nine innings in the regular season, which is not a recipe for success against a Red Sox team that ranked second in ISO versus right-handers.
Bet: Astros team total over 4.5 (-105).
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.