- 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 Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 2.61 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.
Eovaldi vs Valdez 2021 Playoff Stats
The Red Sox will counter with Nathan Eovaldi, who’s been solid in two 2021 playoff starts so far. The 31-year-old was called upon to start the Wild Card game versus the Yankees, and followed up that victory by pitching the series finale in the ALDS.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 6, 2021
He went 5 innings in both starts, allowing a single run to the Yankees, and two runs to Tampa Bay. He posted 16 strikeouts over the two outings, while walking just one. He’s 3-1 in four career playoff starts, but was hit hard in his only meeting with the Astros during the regular season.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Red Sox Batters||Batting Average vs Valdez||Astros Batters||Batting Average vs Eovaldi|
|Christian Arroyo||.333||Jose Altuve||.316|
|Xander Bogaerts||.333||Yordan Alvarez||1.000|
|Bobby Dalbec||.000||Michael Brantley||.200|
|Rafael Devers||.286||Alex Bregman||.500|
|Enrique Hernandez||.273||Martin Maldonado||.500|
|J.D. Martinez||.333||Carlos Correa||.313|
|Hunter Renfroe||.000||Kyle Tucker||.333|
|Christian Vazquez||.167||Yuli Gurriel||.167|
Houston got him for 11 hits and five runs over 5.2 innings back in June, en route to an 8-3 victory.
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 Houston’s dominance over Eovaldi in the regular season 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)
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