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Red Sox Favored To Take ALCS Lead In Game 5

Chris Sale and the Red Sox are moneyline favorites in MLB betting odds to win Game 5 of the ALCS over the Astros.

After two dominant performances from the Boston Red Sox in Games 2 and 3 of the American League Championship Series, the Houston Astros rallied back to take Game 4 and tie the best-of-seven at 2-2. Game 5 goes back to Fenway Park where the Red Sox are favored to take the series lead at home.

Houston Astros vs Boston Red Sox
  • Date/Time: October 20, 5:08 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Fenway Park
  • TV Coverage: FS1, FS1-INT
  • Opening Odds: Red Sox -130 | O/U 9.5 (Line History)
  • Astros vs Red Sox Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Red Sox dropped Game 4 at home but opened as the -130 favorites for Game 5 with the visiting Astros the +110 underdogs. The total is set at 9.5 with the OVER going 6-4 in the last 10 meetings.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Framber Valdez is set to make his second appearance of the series after allowing six hits and two earned runs over just 2.2 innings in his Game 1 start. The left-hander also pitched in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox and allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 4.1 innings. Valdez was 11-6 through 22 starts this season with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Chris Sale will also make his second start of the ALCS, setting up the second head-to-head matchup of the series between these pitchers. The 32-year-old lasted just 2.2 innings in his Game 1 start, allowing five hits and one earned run. His one prior outing this postseason came in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, when he was pulled after allowing four hits and five earned runs in just an inning of work. Sale spent most of the year recovering from Tommy John surgery and made just nine starts this season, posting a record of 7-2 with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

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Houston News & Notes

The Astros needed a big bounce-back performance in Game 4 and that’s exactly what they got. Down 2-1 in the eighth inning, Jose Altuve hit a solo shot – his first hit since Game 1 – to tie the contest at 2-2. They kept up the pressure in the ninth as Jason Castro hit a single through the infield shift to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. Michael Brantley later hit a bases-clearing double to make it 6-2, and it was curtains from there as Houston piled up seven runs in the inning.

Although starter Zack Greinke lasted just 1.1 innings, the Astros got strong contributions from the bullpen as five relievers combined for 10 strikeouts while giving up just four hits and no runs.

Boston News & Notes

The Red Sox got off to yet another hot start in Game 4 as Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer to give Boston a 2-1 lead in the second inning. But unfortunately for the Red Sox, who scored a combined 21 runs over the previous two games, the offense dried up as they managed just five hits through the ball game.

Things were going well for Boston until the eighth inning when reliever Garrett Whitlock allowed Altuve’s game-tying home run. Nathan Eovaldi, who started Game 2, came in to close out the game in the ninth but the move backfired when he allowed two hits and four earned runs with two outs on the board.

How Houston Will Win

After devastating losses in Games 2 and 3, the Astros had to be feeling down. In Game 4, they responded with a late rally of their own to steal the win from Boston, which might have swung the momentum completely. Houston’s key to Game 4 was keeping the game close, which made the late-game heroics possible – that should be their formula here on out.

How Boston Will Win

Although the Red Sox let Game 4 slip away, they should still be feeling good about their earlier performances in the series. They know that they’ve gotten the best of the Astros pitching before and they know they can do it again. With Game 5 being their last home outing of the series, it’s crucial that they come out with a win.

Computer Pick: Red Sox ML (-120)

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Shark Bites
  • Houston is 2-5 in its last 7 road games.
  • Boston is 5-0 in its last 5 games as a favorite.
  • The OVER is 7-0 in Houston’s last 7 games.