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Astros Favored To Take ALCS Opener Over Red Sox

Kyle Tucker and the Astros are solid moneyline favorites in MLB betting odds for Game 1 of the ALCS vs the Red Sox.

The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox collide in the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2018, when the Red Sox emerged with a 4-1 win. This will be the Astros’ fifth consecutive appearance in the ALCS, with their most recent victory coming in 2019 over the Yankees en route to their World Series loss to the Washington Nationals.

Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros
  • Date/Time: October 15, 8:07 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Minute Maid Park
  • TV Coverage: FOX, FOX-INT
  • Opening Odds: Astros -145 | O/U 8 (Line History)
  • Red Sox vs Astros Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Astros come into the series opener as the home favorites at -145 on the moneyline, while the Red Sox are going off at +117 as the underdog. The total is set at 8 runs with the UNDER going 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these two clubs.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Framber Valdez put up an 11-6 record with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP through 22 starts this season. His last outing came on October 8 against the Chicago White Sox in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, when he allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 4.1 innings. The left-hander has appeared in five postseason games in his career, carrying a 3-1 record with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP through those outings.

Chris Sale made just nine regular-season starts as he returned from a lengthy rehab following Tommy John surgery, posting a 7-2 mark with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. The lefty was shelled in Game 2 of the ALDS, allowing four hits and five earned runs in just one inning of work.

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Houston News & Notes

Houston suffered a huge loss in the ALDS as ace Lance McCullers Jr. is likely out for the ALCS and potentially beyond. McCullers experienced right forearm tightness in Tuesday’s Game 4 start against the White Sox, forcing him out of the contest after just four innings. In his absence, Valdez will be expected to shoulder the load as the Astros’ top pitcher.

On the offensive side, the Astros are rolling. They scored 31 runs in their four-game series victory over the White Sox for an average of 7.75 runs per game. Kyle Tucker feasted throughout the ALDS, collecting five hits, two home runs and seven RBIs, while Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa chipped in with four RBIs apiece. Houston had the best offense in the majors this season with 5.39 runs per game, and that’s certainly carried into the playoffs.

Boston News & Notes

The Red Sox were the clear underdogs going into the ALDS against the Rays but found a way to emerge with a 3-1 series win over the AL’s top team. After being shut out in Game 1, Boston came back to win three straight, outscoring Tampa Bay 26-15 along the way. Rafael Devers and Enrique Hernandez led the way offensively, collecting two home runs and six RBIs, while JD Martinez and Christian Vazquez each added one home run and 4 RBIs.

Boston is 8-2 in its last 10 games overall, scoring six or more runs in six of those wins. The Red Sox are 4-1 in their last five ALCS appearances and have gone on to win the World Series following each of those wins, most recently in 2018.

How Houston Will Win

The Astros have been the best offensive team in baseball all year long and that’s carried into the postseason as well. With a shaky Sale taking the mound for Boston, there’s no reason to think that Houston’s big bats can’t have another field day.

How Boston Will Win

The Red Sox have strong hitters of their own, but the key to this series will be containing the Astros offense. Sale clearly struggled in his only outing of the playoffs, but he looked like his old self in the regular season. If he can channel that form again, Boston has a decent chance of taking Game 1.

Computer Pick: Red Sox ML (+125)

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Shark Bites
  • Houston is 5-2 in its last 7 games vs Boston.
  • The UNDER is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings.
  • Boston is 7-1 in its last 8 games.