The Boston Red Sox are in the American League Championship Series for the 11th time, and for the first time since 2013. They will take on the defending champion Houston Astros, who are looking to become the first World Series champion this century to successfully defend its title. Before we go any further, here’s a quick look at where, when, and how to watch the game along with the latest lines:
- Location: Fenway Park (Boston, Mass.)
- First Pitch: Saturday, October 13, 8:09 PM EDT
- TV: TBS
- Odds (via Odds Shark): Red Sox -1.5 (runline) / Red Sox -120 (moneyline) / 7 (total)
The Red Sox went 3-4 against the Astros this season, 1-2 in Boston and 2-2 in Houston. The four-game series in Houston saw the Sox lose the first two games, but rally to win the last two and get a series split. The Sox dropped two of three in the series in Boston, but they already had 97 wins by the time Houston came to town and may have had their foot off the accelerator by that point.
Chris Sale will take the mound for the Red Sox in Game 1 after a solid ALDS against the Yankees. He faced the Astros only once in the regular season, taking a loss in Houston after allowing four runs on six hits and a walk in six innings of work. Justin Verlander will take the mound for Houston. Verlander received a no decision in his only start versus Boston in 2018. He allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in six innings of work in a game Houston eventually lost 5-4.
Even with the run total at 7, the under would be a wise play in Game 1. Red Sox hitters have a combined .211 average against Verlander in 171 at bats. Astros hitters have fared only slightly better against Sale, combing for a .237 average against him in 118 at bats. This will be a tight series between two evenly matched teams, and Game 1 could kick this series off with an old school pitchers’ duel.