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A walk-off win yesterday gave us a nice, profitable Dodgers victory. Now we get into the full meat and potatoes of the MLB playoffs with the series starting. In these pieces, I’ll share my picks for the series, but also game-specific.
White Sox vs. Astros
I feel like I need to disclose this: I am a born and raised Cubs fan. I respect and like the White Sox a lot this season, however, I think the Astros win this series. I bring that up because I feel like as someone providing picks, I need to share my bias – even if I feel like I’ve put it aside this year because ultimately, I really care about money and not the laundry. This is a tough matchup for the White Sox, but it won’t be a cakewalk for the Astros either. My recommendation – not a play – but a recommendation is the Astros to win 3-1 at +380.
Today, the White Sox have their best pitcher going in Lance Lynn. If this game was two or three months ago, I would’ve been bringing up how he is the Cy Young favorite and be taking the Sox. He was outstanding. He’s had a few starts since being taken off the injured list. In three of the four starts, he picked up where he left off. However, in one start, he was shellacked by the Indians. He only started against the Astros one time this season and he allowed six earned runs in just four innings. That was a road start, too. Having pitched for Texas recently, he has a lot of history against the Astros. He’s given up 51 hits in 160 at-bats and allowed 10 home runs. For the Astros, Lance McCullers is throwing. He has been very good this season – and one of the most important parts, he’s been consistent. He’s started twice against the White Sox and allowed just three earned runs over 13 innings. I like the Astros to win this game at -136.
Red Sox vs. Rays
The Red Sox looked great against the Yankees, but now they have to work hard if they want to advance to the next round. Over the course of the season the Rays won 11 games to the Red Sox eight during their head-to-head matchups. The Red Sox won four consecutive at the beginning of the season, so over their last 15 games, this was heavily in the Rays favor. JD Martinez is going to be on the roster for the Red Sox, but how effective he can be is the question. Kyle Schwarber has some great postseason moment, but the biggest question mark is the pitching staff. Who can the Red Sox rely on in their starting staff? Chis Sale? Of course. Nathan Eovaldi? Sure looked great during the Wild Card game, but he probably starts Game 3. I think the Rays win this series in five games. If you want to play it, that is available at +280.
Boston brings starter Eduardo Rodriguez into this one. Rodriguez posted a 4.74 ERA during the season, but this might be the best time to use him. As a road starter, he was just a 3.95 ERA pitcher. Against the Rays, he started four times and allowed 11 earned runs over 21 innings. One person to watch specifically is Brandon Lowe – he has four hits in 13 at-bats against Rodriguez, and three of them left the yard. Shane McClanahan throws for the Rays, and while he might not have the name recognition of Blake Snell or Charlie Morton from last year, he did have a great season. Over three starts against the Red Sox, he allowed five earned runs over 16 innings, resulting in a 2.81 ERA. I think the Rays win this game, but my recommended play for this is Rays over 4 runs at -104.