Sale's postseason reputation is far from cemented.
Tap here for the full preview. Cy Young candidate Chris Sale (17-8, 2.90 ERA) will undoubtedly pitch Game 1 while he will either throw in Game 5 or in Game 4 on three days' rest. Houston ranked 10th with a 4.27 ERA.
The Red Sox got a double from Hanley Ramirez, but couldn't bring him home. On the other side, Boston split its last 10 games.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32 ERA) will start Game 2 for the Red Sox. He went 1-2 in those starts allowing nine earned runs in 16.2 innings.
Justin Verlander will campaign for his sixth straight win as an Astro when he starts this afternoon to kick off Houston's postseason run against the Boston Red Sox. And Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA for the season) has definitely not disappointed, going 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 34 innings with 46 strikeouts in Astro orange. He became the ninth player (Babe Ruth did it twice) and first Astros player to hit three home runs in a postseason game. Astros took three of four. Usually, pitching is the story of these series. The Indians raced past the Red Sox with just enough starting pitching and the unhittable stuff of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. Major League Baseball odds have the Astros as -190series favourites at Sports Interaction. Boston gets a road win to begin the series, swinging the momentum in their favor.
Chis Sale is pulled from the game. He struck out 308 hitters becoming the first American League pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1999 to finish with 300+ strikeouts.
So why has a team boasting one of the best starters in the game (Chris Sale), one of the best closers in the game (Craig Kimbrel) and one of the best all-around players in the game (Betts) failed to inspire? The Yankees have already showed off the depth of their pen in their reliever-heavy Wild Card win, with Chad Green and David Robertson going long and Aroldis Chapman going short. Springer and Barnes were college teammates at nearby CT.
Which is not to say that the Red Sox red flags are limited to hitting.
"I know he gets scrutinized at times, but he really stepped up for us here down the stretch", team president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.
Austin Maddox on the mound for the Red Sox now. Red Sox moved into first place on August 1 and never trailed again. Won the AL West for first division title since winning NL Central in 2001. Now, the 33-year-old was coming off back-to-back bad seasons though.
Our prediction: The Astros win this series. Detroit won all five of those games. He has made 180 major league starts but has never started a postseason game.
As it turns out, Fister will be the Game Three starter, and honestly it makes sense. Houston leads Boston, 7-2.
- Lefty Woes. Not much could stop Houston's powerful lineup this season. He's batting.290, 57 points above his career average. The Sox didn't have a regular hit better than.300, with second baseman Dustin Pedroia leading the team at.293. "He's handled it beautifully and I would suspect at this stage, this next set of games in which he's going to experience for the first time will be handled the same way". Carlos Correa has been back, but has been slumping since his return. He has had a spectacular season, and what he makes up for in inability to go deep into games, he more than makes up for with stuff that at times is almost unhittable.
The Verlander trade changed everything for Houston.
The Boston Red Sox ended their regular season losing five of their last seven games.