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Will Price Be Right For Bosox Sunday?

Updated: .June 18, 2017

By Charles Jay

The Boston Red Sox felt like they had a dream rotation when they completed the deal to bring Chris Sale to Beantown. After all, he was joining not just one, but two Cy Young Award winners on the staff. But Rick Porcello hasn’t exactly been chasing last year’s numbers, and David Price is still trying to get himself under control after his first four starts. And now Price will take the mound against the Houston Astros in a game that is set to get underway at 8:05 PM ET at Minute Maid Park.

If you are an America’s Bookie customer, you can stay involved in the wagering action throughout this ESPN-televised game, with two different “Live Betting” options in your sportsbook interface.

The Astros roughed up Porcello last night, tagging him for seven runs in a victory. This team was sailing along with the best record in baseball, but has run into all kinds of problems keeping pitchers healthy. At this moment, four members of what they were hoping would be the starting rotation are out of action – Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers and Dallas Keuchel, who may have been on his way to another Cy Young Award – are on the disabled list, and Colin McHugh has been there since the beginning of the season.

That means that people who were borderline candidates for that rotation are being asked to do more, and that includes the Sunday night starter, Joe Musgrove, who will be making his second start since coming off the DL. And speaking of the DL, David Price was there until May 29, as he had elbow issues. He’s now made four starts for the Bosox, and Houston will see if it can tear into another Cy Young winner in this one.

In the Sunday night baseball betting odds that have been posted on this game, the Astros are favored at home:

Houston Astros (Musgrove) -120
Boston Red Sox (Price) +100

Over 9 Runs -115
Under 9 Runs -105

Red Sox +1.5 Runs -195
Astros -1.5 Runs +165

When Musgrove first arrived in Houston, he he had compiled a 26-6 record over his previous three minor league seasons, including a 10-1 ratio of strikeouts to walks over the last two. Well, not so much in the big leagues. His efforts have been so-so, as he has struggled with consistency on the mound. It’s been a little like a roller-coaster with him; he gives up seven runs in three innings against the Cleveland Indians, then turns around and shuts out the Baltimore Orioles over seven.

Musgrove then developed some inflammation in his shoulder, so he went on the 10-day disabled list. Upon returning, he went 4-2/3 against the Texas Rangers and allowed two runs in a loss. He threw 75 pitches in that one, and said he felt some soreness, but believes he can get to 100 in this start. Manager AJ Hinch admits he isn’t 100% yet, but what else can be said? The Astros need any semi-healthy arm they can find at the moment.

Is Price healthy? Good question. He made a pretty good account of himself over his first two starts, but then got roughed up by the Yankees (six runs in five innings), flipped off a fan, incurred some media wrath, and also developed a blister on the ring finger of his throwing hand. He did go six innings against the Phillies (three runs, four hits) but he walked four batters for the second straight time, and that is a huge departure for a guy who has demonstrated tremendous control in his career.

Yet Price does seem to have the velocity, so the elbow is not a lingering problem. There is more upside with him, and the Red Sox have scored just three runs in their last three games. They are obviously better than that, and maybe this is the kind of starter who they can exploit a little. Slight edge to Price – and their bullpen – we take the Red Sox at even money, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues on Sunday night.

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