Game time: 4:20 p.m. ET
Venue: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Where to watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Astros -145, Red Sox +125
The NLCS begins game one here on Saturday from Atlanta as the LA Dodgers take on the Braves. Jim Feist is ready to start you off with a winner in this series. Join a Vegas betting veteran with nearly 50-years of winning experience and WIN with JIM in the baseball playoffs.
Red Sox - Astros preview and analysis
Game 2, American League Championship Series -- Astros lead 1-0
If chicks dig the long ball, Game 1 of the ALCS lived up to that moniker.
Carlos Correa’s solo shot in the bottom of the seventh broke a 3-3 tie and the Houston Astros took a 1-0 series lead with a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 on Friday.
Game 2 is on Saturday in Houston.
The Red Sox nearly pulled Game 1 out of their back pocket. More specifically, Kike Hernandez nearly did everything himself. The Boston center fielder did everything, from clobbering two home runs to carry the Boston offense, to making plays in the outfield to prevent any more runs coming across.
Hernandez finished the day 4-for-5 with those two homers, including one in the top of the ninth that cut the Houston lead to 5-4, but that’s all that could be mustered for the final score.
The Red Sox had their opportunities on offense with 10 hits, but outside of Hernandez’s homer and two other runs that scored in the top of the third, Boston couldn’t bring anyone else home. The Sox carried a two-run lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Then the avalanche happened.
Jose Altuve crushed a two-run shot to left field to tie the game, and then Correa made it known that it was his time
in the bottom of the seventh.
Correa capped off his day with a 3-for-4 night, joining Chas McCormick as the only players to have more than one hit. Both the No. 5 and No. 8 hitters came through with six of the Astros’ 11 hits.
Surprisingly enough, Game 1 turned into a battle of bullpens. Any given day a battle between Chris Sale and Framber Valdez would be must-watch TV. The winner of the day was the Houston bullpen throwing 6.1 innings of four-hit ball while only allowing one run -- Hernandez’ second homer.
Sale pitched well in only 2.2 innings of work, but that’s the thing: Only 2.2 innings. We’ve seen the strategy of keeping a short leash on starters during the postseason, but I’ve never been one to fully understand why this is even a thing. One of the best pitchers in the league has only given up one run into the third and you let the bullpen take it from there.
Nathan Eovaldi is getting the call for Game 2 for the Red Sox, but this is a territory they’re all too familiar with. Boston lost Game 1 of the ALDS to the Tampa Bay Rays before reeling off three straight wins. While there’s still the possibility they head back to Fenway Park and make this a series, it’s not something that the Red Sox should toy with.
They’re the last team standings in the AL East for a reason after beating the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card game.
Luis Garcia will take the mound for the Astros on Saturday. Garcia lasted only 2.2 innings while giving up five runs in Game 3 against the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora realizes his team can hang with this Astros team, and I’d be hard pressed to believe they can’t get the job done in Game 2. Eovaldi has quieted things down many times this season, and I expect him to quiet that crowd one more time. Red Sox win 5-3
The Red Sox are 67-47 in their last 134 playoff games dating back to 1997.
The Astros are 49-27 this season as a favorite at -110 or higher.
Enrique Hernandez (R) CF
Kyle Schwarber (L) 1B
Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
Rafael Devers (L) 3B
J.D. Martinez (R) DH
Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
Alex Verdugo (L) LF
Christian Arroyo (R) 2B
Christian Vazquez (R) C
Jose Altuve (R) 2B
Michael Brantley (L) DH
Alex Bregman (R) 3B
Yordan Alvarez (L) LF
Carlos Correa (R) SS
Kyle Tucker (L) RF
Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
Chas McCormick (R) CF
Martin Maldonado (R) C
Probable starting pitchers: Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) vs. Luis Garcia (HOU)
Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert MLB picks today. And if you enjoyed this Boston Red Sox - Houston Astros preview, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB projections and predictions.