Red Sox vs. Astros ALCS Betting Odds, Series Schedule: Houston Opens As Heavy Favorite To Win Pennant

Red Sox vs. Astros ALCS Betting Odds, Series Schedule: Houston Opens As Heavy Favorite To Win Pennant article feature image
Credit:

Getty Images. Pictured: Houston’s Jose Altuve and Boston’s Enrique Hernandez.

Red Sox vs. Astros ALCS Betting Odds

Red Sox Series Price +170
Astros Series Price -200
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Series Schedule

  • Game 1: Friday, Oct. 15, Time TBD, Fox Sports 1
  • Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 16, Time TBD, Fox Sports 1
  • Game 3: Monday, Oct. 18, Time TBD, Fox Sports 1
  • Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 19, Time TBD, Fox Sports 1
  • Game 5: Wednesday, Oct. 20, Time TBD, Fox Sports 1 (if necessary)
  • Game 6: Friday, Oct. 22, Time TBD, Fox Sports 1 (if necessary)
  • Game 7: Saturday, Oct. 23, Time TBD, Fox Sports 1 (if necessary)

Overview

The last two American League teams to win a World Series meet in an attempt to be the next one as the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros begin the best-of-seven American League Championship Series on Friday in Houston.

The Red Sox won their AL Division Series matchups against the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays in four games after dispatching of the rival New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game. Boston last made the ALCS during that aforementioned World Series year in 2018, and is back in the postseason this year after missing in ’19 and ’20.

The Astros had home-field advantage in what was expected to be a tight ALDS against the Chicago White Sox, but they put away the South Siders in four games. Houston is in the ALCS for the fifth consecutive season, losing in seven games to Tampa a year ago.

The Red Sox and Astros met seven times during the regular season with Houston holding a 5-2 advantage, outscoring Boston 42-25 in the process. Houston won 2-of-3 at home in early June and against 2-of-3 in Boston a week later.

Boston Red Sox

Top Position Players

  • Xander Bogaerts, SS
  • Rafael Devers, 3B
  • Enrique Hernandez, Util
  • J.D. Martinez, DH

Boston’s offense is led by the left side of the infield. Bogaerts and Devers were both All-Stars with elite power and the ability to draw walks.

That duo helped pace an offense that finished with the sixth-best offense in baseball by wRC+ at 106. The Red Sox ranked third in wOBA and were the 10th-most difficult team to strike out with a K percentage of 22.6%.

The Red Sox aren’t particularly walk-happy, as they ranked just 20th in the majors with walks in 8.4% of plate appearances.

Single-series samples are hardly predictive, but the Red Sox were led in the ALDS by Hernandez, who went 9-for-20 with a pair of home runs, while Martinez went 7-for-15 after returning from an injured ankle.

Projected Starting Rotation

  • Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
  • Chris Sale, LHP
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
  • Nick Pivetta, RHP

Eovaldi started the 13-inning marathon in Game 3 on Sunday, so a start in Game 1 on Friday would put him on regular rest. The Red Sox could also use Sale, who started Game 2 and would be extra rested.

You figure those two start the first two games of the series regardless. The order is all Alex Cora has to figure out.

Rodriguez started Games 1 and 4 so the earliest the Red Sox could conceivably use him is Game 2 on Saturday, but after going on short rest in the ALDS and with his other starters rested, you have to figure Cora would hold him back until Game 3 on Monday.

Boston hasn’t used a fourth starter yet in this postseason. Pivetta has been electric in two extended relief appearances, striking out 11 in 8 2/3 innings. In a potential Game 4 scenario, the Red Sox would presumably start either him or Tanner Houck, who has also been very good out of the bullpen.

Key Bullpen Pieces

  • Ryan Brasier
  • Josh Taylor
  • Garrett Whitlock
  • Hansel Robles

Whitlock has been the star of Boston’s bullpen. Although there were no save opportunities, he got the highest-leverage work on a pretty regular basis and led the pitching staff in Win Probability Added.

Brasier and Taylor were both used in key situations, with the latter proving more effective as Cora utilized the lefty in key matchup situations. Behind these four, Boston also has Austin Davis, Adam Ottavino, Garrett Richards and Matt Barnes.

Barnes started the season as Boston’s closer, but was demoted after struggling late in the season, and was left off the ALDS entirely until an injury opened a spot.

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Houston Astros

Top Position Players

  • Carlos Correa, SS
  • Jose Altuve, 2B
  • Kyle Tucker, RF
  • Yordan Alvarez, DH
  • Yuli Gurriel, 1B
  • Michael Brantley, LF

Houston finished with a 115 wRC+ on the year, tops in the majors, and its .335 wOBA is second only to Toronto.

The Astros’ biggest asset offensively, though, is how difficult they are to strike out. They only strike out in 19.5% of their plate appearances, the lowest mark in baseball.

Pairing that type of discipline with so many elite, battle-tested bats is tough to beat.

In the ALDS against the White Sox,

Projected Starting Rotation

  • Framber Valdez, LHP
  • Lance McCullers Jr., RHP
  • Luis Garcia, RHP
  • Jose Urquidy, RHP

McCullers started the clinching win against the White Sox, and Houston had Framber Valdez ready to go for a potential Game 5 in Houston. Valdez will presumably be the Game 1 starter, and the Astros will then likely turn to Luis Garcia for Game 2 on Saturday. The young right-hander started Houston’s only loss in the ALDS on Sunday.

The earliest Houston could conceivably bring back McCullers would be Game 3 on Monday. Jose Urquidy was initially scheduled to start Game 4 against the White Sox, but the rainout on Monday allowed them to skip him for McCullers. He is Houston’s fourth starter, though, and would presumably get the ball in Game 4 of this series unless they are down in the series and choose to bring back Valdez on short rest.

Key Bullpen Pieces

  • Kendall Graveman
  • Ryne Stanek
  • Ryan Pressly
  • Brooks Raley
  • Yimi Garcia

The Astros remade a shaky bullpen at the deadline, too, acquiring Kendall Graveman from the division rival Mariners, and Yimi Garcia from the Marlins.

Graveman has been more of a setup man since joining Houston after closing in Seattle. The Astros’ closer is Pressly, who put up an entirely deserving All-Star campaign.

The Astros have several intriguing arms outside of the expected late-inning relief corps who could be utilized in a variety of ways, including Zack Greinke and occasional starter Cristian Javier.

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