The Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros meet Friday for Game 1 of the ALCS in MLB action from Minute Maid Park. Boston is coming off a Division Series versus the Rays. The Red Sox were able to win three of the four games to move on. As for the Astros, they played the White Sox in their ALDS. Houston got their third series-clenching win Tuesday in blowout fashion. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Boston didn’t have a whole lot of trouble versus the Yankees in the Wild Card Game, winning 6-2 to reach the next round against Tampa Bay. The Red Sox lost 5-0 last Thursday, then came back with three straight wins 14-6, 6-4 and 6-5 to win the Division Series.
For the starter job in Game 1 Friday, it seems the Red Sox will turn to Nathan Eovaldi. In his pair of postseason outings so far Eovaldi has a 1-0 record, a 2.61 ERA and 16 Ks in 10.1 innings.
Over on the Astros’ side, they’re coming off a Division Series versus the White Sox. Houston managed wins in the first two games 6-1 and 9-4 before a 12-6 loss back on Sunday. The Astros completed their run with a 10-1 road victory in the Tuesday game four.
For the starting pitcher gig in Game 1, it’s looking like the Astros will go with Framber Valdez. This postseason Valdez has an 8.31 ERA after 4.1 innings and six Ks in his lone appearance.(As an aside, the once probable game three starter Lance McCullers is nursing a forearm injury. He’s expected to be out for the entire series.)
The Red Sox are 4-0 in their last four League Championship games and 7-1 in their last eight overall. Boston is 5-1 in their last six after a win and 4-1 in their last five road games.
Meanwhile, the Astros are 4-0 in their last four playoff games at home and 5-1 in their last six overall. Houston is 6-2 in their last eight playoff games and 4-1 in their last five League Championship home games.
PICK: I’m probably going to lean Red Sox here. Boston’s offense has been cooking since the playoffs began, scoring six or more runs in four of the five games so far. All things considered, this series is likely primed to be a high-scoring shootout more often than not. Houston has scored six or more runs in all four of their playoff games, and in seven straight games dating back to October 1 also. They’re going to have a hard time getting around the likes of Eovaldi, but I think they’ll hit the pen well. Still, I like the Sox to keep it going here and steal a road win in game one. Should be a fun and highly competitive series.
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