Best Bet for the ALCS Game 3: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox

Oct 18, 2021 - 11:41 AM

A day after the Dodgers and Braves had the spotlight all to themselves, the ALCS matchup between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox is the only MLB show in town tonight as the NLCS takes the day off for travel. Despite Boston stealing homefield advantage with a split of the first two games, DraftKings Sportsbook still has Houston as -125 favorites to win the pennant and advance to the World Series.

What will the odds look like after tonight’s pivotal Game 3?

Here is my best bet for Monday’s ALCS Game 3 playoff action. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

YTD: 192-161-8 (+14.62 units) 

Houston Astros ML (-110)

Though it is just the third game of a best-of-seven series, tonight’s game feels awfully important for the Houston Astros. Lance McCullers Jr. has been left off the ALCS roster as he deals with a forearm injury. Last night’s starter Luis Garcia left last night’s game in the second inning because of a right knee strain. The Astros used Jake Odorizzi in his place, who is now likely not an option to start Game 4. Of the several options the Astros are likely to consider, they do not want to use Zack Greinke, who has been stretched to throw only 40 pitches. Thus, the Astros need a big outing from Jose Urquidy, who has not appeared in a game since October 3rd.

Urquidy is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in eight postseason appearances, four starts. He was supposed to pitch in Game 4 of the ALDS, but manager Dusty Baker pivoted to Lance McCullers Jr. on short rest after their game initially was rained out. Many bettors will take that as a sign that Baker does not trust Urquidy, but the fact is he saw an opportunity to close a series out with his ace on the mound, and he took it. Urquidy faced Boston once this year on May 31st, holding them to one earned run on three hits over six innings while earning the win. But, as ESPN Stats & Info suggests, he will be facing a red-hot Red Sox offense tonight.

Urquidy loved pitching at night this season, going 6-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 12 night starts compared to a 2-3 record and 4.75 ERA during the day. The Astros have won five of their last seven meetings with the Red Sox, and they will play this game as their postseason lives depend on it, given how murky their pitching plans look going forward. Urquidy has held current Red Sox hitters to a .136 batting average and .273 slugging percentage in 23 combined plate appearances.

Boston counters with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who went 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA this season. In two starts this season, Rodriguez was lit up by the Astros, as Houston hit a combined .351 against him and averaged six runs per game. In name alone, the Red Sox have the pitching edge tonight. However, Houston’s bats should carry them to victory.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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