Red Sox vs. Astros MLB Playoffs: ALDS Series Odds and Prediction

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Kluber went 2-0 during the regular season against NY, but didn't face slugger Aaron Judge, who was slumping both times the teams met. Judge struck out all four times Thursday after homering in the AL wild-card win. The roof in Houston is closed so that the weather can not affect the game in any way. Instead of waiting for the victor of the wild-card game and watching as either the Twins or Yankees advanced by burning one of their top pitchers, the Astros instead have to duke it out in five games with the Red Sox. Sale was 17-8 for the season with a 2.90 ERA in 214.1 innings.

Facing Sale will be Justin Verlander, the longtime Detroit Tigers ace traded to Houston earlier this season.

Sale gave up just one first-inning homer this season.

The second game of the best-of-five series is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET Friday afternoon and once again will take place at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.

If the Indians win: They'll be sitting pretty with Kluber going in Game 2.

If Chris Sale could secure for the Red Sox a pivotal opening victory, it would inoculate this young team with the confidence that they need to go on a serious postseason run. If Fister gets the Red Sox in an early hole, its offense, which lacks home run power, will likely struggle to come back. MLB Network Is also available on DirectTV, Dish Network, PlayStation Vue and many other streaming options.

The Astros led the major leagues in just about every single offensive category. The left-hander was tagged for nine hits and matched a season high for most runs allowed. And the team was second in the majors (behind only the Yankees) with 238 home runs. Crane says the patches on team uniforms that say "Houston Strong" gives the team a little extra motivation. Carlos Correa, George Springer, Marwin Gonzalez, Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick have been trouble for opposing pitchers all year, and you can never count out veterans like Carlos Beltran.

Chris Sale has given up back-to-back home runs to Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve as the Astros jump out to the quick 2-0 lead. Astros lead Red Sox, 8-2.

Sale, the major league strikeout leader, was tagged for seven runs in five-plus innings of his postseason debut.

Giancarlo Stanton gets one more shot at hitting his 60th home run when the Marlins host the Braves.

The Boston hitter with the most success vs. Houston in 2017 was shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who batted.304 with two homers and five RBIs.

Abbey Mastracco, NJ Advance Media: The only team that has a bullpen good enough to counter the Yankees 'pen is the Indians. While that's clearly bad news, Hanley Ramirez tried to soften the blow by showing just how good he can be. Look for Jose Altuve and Co.to slug their way to the ACLS. A replay displayed on the huge right-field scoreboard at Minute Maid Park showed that Bradley had clearly trapped the ball, and the crowd erupted with the same enthusiasm it showed for the first inning homers. Will the Astros put up 12 runs on the Red Sox in any of the games like what happened at the end of the regular season? The reason you go with Fister is because of how he can pitch to this Astros lineup, and not throw to it.

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