Just a few weeks removed from the 2022 Olympics, international curling is once again in the spotlight — this time for the men’s world championship. The competition runs from April 2-10 in Las Vegas. As the tourneys nears, you’ll want to see who our favorite betting picks to win the 2022 World Men’s Curling Championship are.
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Red Sox at Astros AL Division Series Predictions 2017
2017 American League Division Series Betting
The Red Sox and Astros get the Divisional Round of the 2017 MLB playoffs started on Thursday afternoon and Game 1 has a tremendous pitching matchup with Chris Sale battling Justin Verlander. Both of those starters were bigtime pick-ups for their respective teams this season, and it will be interesting to see which one comes out on top in Game 1. But this article is all about series futures offered at sportsbooks and predicting which club will move on to the ALCS and the right to play for a World Series berth. There is no denying that both teams are extremely talented, and each side brings different strengths and weaknesses to the table in this five-game series.
2017 ALDS Betting Odds - To Win Series
Boston Red Sox (+145) vs. Houston Astros (-165) - Odds taken from Bet365
In a year where the HR ball and subsequently strikeouts ruled the day, the Boston Red Sox were more of a throwback team. Boston prided themselves on putting balls in play, moving runners along, and playing sound fundamental defense. They are the only AL playoff team that hit fewer than 200 HR's this year, and only three other teams in all of MLB had lower HR totals.
The Red Sox hit plenty of doubles though to move things along, and constantly having a guy on 2B puts even more pressure on opposing pitchers. Boston's lack of power could end up hurting them in this series, but if the Red Sox continue to find ways to get guys on base and across home plate like they have all year, there is no reason they can't advance to the ALCS.
Houston prefers a more modern approach as they prefer the "bloop and a blast" strategy. Houston was 2nd in MLB in HR's hit this year (238) and the depth of their lineup from top to bottom is going to cause headaches for Boston in this series.
Houston's big concern is getting quality pitching for 5 games, and their defensive metrics aren't exactly the best for a playoff team either. The Astros did win the season series with Boston 4-3 SU in the regular season, and with home field advantage in this one, things do bode well for Houston.
Getting Justin Verlander in late-August aimed to squash some of those pitching concerns, and there is no question that Houston getting to play their road games in a hitter-friendly ballpark like Fenway should allow them to use their power-laden lineup to their advantage. Houston did win three of the four games played in Boston this year as well.
Who's Got The Edge Overall?
Given the odds that were put out on this series, the sportsbooks definitely like Houston's chances of moving on. The notion of "playoff experience" is basically equal here as both teams were eliminated in this round in recent years (Boston in 2106, Houston in 2015), so there really isn't much of an advantage there. Playoff baseball tends to be more about manufacturing runs than the longball though - edge to Boston - but after starting Chris Sale, I'm not sure Boston's pitching staff can hold up for long against this Astros lineup; especially with the intense pressure of playoff baseball as the backdrop. In the end, the edge has to go to Houston.2017 ALDS Betting Pick: Houston Astros (-165)
Houston dominated most of the American League for the first few months of this season, and although they had some slipups in August, this team started to get back to their dominating ways by late September. Having home field advantage should this series go the distance is a huge advantage, but Houston's 53-28 SU record on the road this year was tied for 1st in the Majors (with Cleveland), and when you combine that with the Astros ability to hit the HR ball at a place like Boston, I don't believe a Game 5 will be necessary.
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