Major League Baseball

A 2018 ALCS rematch is in store at Fenway Park this weekend as the Houston Astros (29-15) visit the Boston Red Sox (23-20). Both teams are red-hot heading into Friday night, as Boston is 8-2 in their last 10 contests, while Houston is 9-1. Here’s what bettors should be looking for. Play on BetAmerica.

Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET

MLB Free Play: Astros runline

Gerrit Cole (4-4, 3.88 ERA) (HOU) -135 / -1.5 runs (+110) / Over 9.5 runs (-105)
Rick Porcello (3-3, 5.15 ERA) (BOS) +125 / +1.5 runs (-130) / Under 9.5 runs (-115)

Two streaking starters take the hill in the series opener, but the edge goes to Gerrit Cole and the Astros over Rick Porcello and the Red Sox.Cole is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in his last three outings. He’s struck out 32 batters in that span while issuing just three walks. Cole has struggled in previous matchups with J.D. Martinez (3-for-10, 1.029 OPS), though he’s far from alone in that regard. However, he’s handled Boston’s supporting cast fairly well, as Jackie Bradley Jr., Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts have amassed just four hits against the California native in 31 combined at-bats.
As of Friday, Houston has four of the top 10 batters in OPS, with outfielder George Springer ranking second at 1.051. Springer is hitting .418 in May and is 5-for-12 lifetime against Porcello. The Boston righty could be dealt his first loss since April 13 (five starts).

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX

There could be value in the under on Saturday night, as the Astros send out 23-year-old rookie Corbin Martin to make just his second career start against Boston’s Hector Velazquez (1-2, 3.95 ERA).

Martin allowed only two earned runs in his major-league debut against the Rangers on Sunday, striking out nine while walking one in 5 1/3 innings. Velazquez has been used primarily out of the bullpen this year but was 7-2 with a 3.18 ERA in eight starts last season.

The bullpens should play a big role in this one, which gives Houston a leg up. Their relief corps is tops in the league in ERA at 2.84, while the Red Sox relievers are eighth at 3.88.

Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET

Boston has a big advantage in the starting pitching department on Sunday afternoon, as Chris Sale (1-5, 4.24 ERA) squares off with Brad Peacock (4-2, 4.01 ERA).

Sale is fresh off a historic 17-strikout performance against the Rockies. No pitcher had ever recorded that many Ks in seven innings of work. Sale has struck out 41 batters in his last three efforts while walking only one. Outfielder Michael Brantley, catcher Robinson Chirinos and shortstop Carlos Correa have just 12 hits between them in 61 prior encounters with the Florida native.

Over his last three seasons, Peacock has pitched to a 3.23 ERA and opponent batting average of .209. But in day games, those numbers jumped to 3.90 and .235, respectively.