- The Houston Astros are -150 moneyline favorites over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday (October 15th, 8:07 pm ET)
- Houston will give the ball to Framber Valdez (0-0, 8.31 ERA), while Boston will counter with Chris Sale (0-0, 45.00 ERA)
- Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
The ALCS is upon us. Houston is back for the fifth consecutive season, while Boston is one of the last two AL teams standing for the second time in four years.
The Astros dominated the season series versus the Red Sox 5-2, scoring 42 runs in the process. Houston defeated the Chicago White Sox in four games in the ALDS to reach this point, while Boston knocked off the New York Yankees in the Wild Card game, then disposed of the Tampa Bay Rays in four games in the ALDS.
Red Sox vs Astros Game 1 Odds
|Boston Red Sox||+130||+1.5 (-150)||O 8 (-110)|
|Houston Astros||-150||-1.5 (+130)||U 8 (-110)|
Odds as of Oct. 13th at DraftKings.
Houston is a -150 moneyline favorite on Friday in Game 1, in a contest that features a total of 8. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 pm ET at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, and dicey weather conditions could force the stadium’s retractable roof to be closed. The forecast currently projects for 64 degree night time temperatures, with the possibility of rain and thunderstorms.
Framber Valdez will take the ball for the Astros looking to rebound from a dismal start in his 2021 postseason debut. Valdez coughed up seven hits and four runs to the White Sox on Friday, but didn’t factor into the decision thanks to the Houston bats. The Astros provided him with nine runs of support, ultimately cruising to an easy victory.
The outing was quite the contrast from previous playoff starts, as Valdez entered Game 2 of the ALDS having allowed only five runs in his previous 24 innings of postseason ball.
The 27-year-old was also hit hard in his final start of the regular season, yielding four runs and two homers to Oakland in an 8-6 defeat. That spells trouble against the red-hot Boston lineup, more on them later, although he did fare quite well versus the Red Sox in both matchups during the regular season.
Valdez went 7 innings in back-to-back starts against Boston in June, allowing only one run and five hits in each outing, while posting strikeout totals of 10 and 8.
Sale vs Valdez 2021 Playoff Stats
The Red Sox will counter with Chris Sale, who was a disaster in his first 2021 playoff start. The lefty lasted just 1 inning against Tampa Bay, surrendering four hits and five runs, including a homer.
The poor outing was his second straight after getting hit hard in the season finale against Washington. He yielded four hits and two runs over only 2.1 innings to the Nats, while walking three.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Red Sox Batters||Batting Average vs Valdez||Astros Batters||Batting Average vs Sale|
|Christian Arroyo||.333||Jose Altuve||.333|
|Xander Bogaerts||.333||Yuli Gurriel||.375|
|Bobby Dalbec||.000||Michael Brantley||.195|
|Rafael Devers||.286||Alex Bregman||.167|
|Enrique Hernandez||.273||Martin Maldonado||.182|
|J.D. Martinez||.333||Carlos Correa||.211|
|Hunter Renfroe||.000||Aledmys Diaz||.333|
He’s made it out of the 6th inning in just one of his 10 starts in 2021, which doesn’t bode well agains the potent Houston bats.
Red Sox vs Astros Pick
The Astros were baseball’s best offense during the regular season, and they showed no signs of slowing down in the ALDS. They racked up 31 runs over four games, and have scored at least six times in seven straight.
Boston meanwhile, has crossed the plate 26 times in its last three outings, racking up nine home runs along the way. They’ll get a favorable matchup versus a struggling Valdez, and Sale’s recent struggles should give over bettors the confidence they need to fire at this low total.
Postseason raking. pic.twitter.com/TXj0g932gr
— Red Sox (@RedSox) October 12, 2021
Both teams have seen each of their last three games hit the over, while Houston contests have flown past the total in six of the last seven overall.
Pick: Over 8 (-110)