Astros at Red Sox: ALCS Game 1 Preview

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CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros hits a two-run RBI double in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on October 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros hits a two-run RBI double in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on October 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Let’s take a closer look at how the Astros and Red Sox matchup for Game 1 of the ALCS.

Justin Verlander. Chris Sale. Game 1 of the ALCS. In today’s baseball, we aren’t treated to an old school starting pitcher matchup  often. Anything can happen in baseball, but we may see a true starting pitchers duel in this era of new reliance on the bullpen.

Starting Pitchers

RHP Justin Verlander (214 IP, 2.52 ERA, 2.78 FIP) vs. LHP Chris Sale (158 IP, 2.11 ERA, 1.98 FIP)

But the two lineups hope to solve the man standing on the pitchers mound in Game 1. Here’s how the Astros structured their lineup for Saturday evening at Fenway Park.

CF George Springer

2B Jose Altuve

3B Alex Bregman

1B Yuli Gurriel

DH Tyler White

LF Marwin Gonzalez

SS Carlos Correa

C Martin Maldonado

RF Josh Reddick

Once again the Astros have Correa low in the lineup as he has struggled since his return from the DL in August. Hopefully his three-run homer during Game 3 of the ALDS in Cleveland is a sign of good things to come. But until he has proven the ability to swing the bat well, manager AJ Hinch likely keeps Houston’s star shortstop lower in the lineup.

Maldonado gets the nod with Verlander back on the mound, similar to Game 1 of the ALDS. White is the DH as Evan Gattis remains on the bench for this one.

Heres how the Red Sox lineup looks before Game 1.

RF Mookie Betts

LF Andrew Benintendi

DH J.D. Martinez

SS Xander Bogaerts

1B Steve Pearce

2B Brock Holt

3B Eduardo Nunez

CF Jackie Bradley Jr.

C Sandy Leon

Betts and Martinez both have MVP-level numbers. Benintendi and Bogaerts are quite good as well. There are also a couple of former Astro connections in Martinez and Pearce. Like Houston, Boston’s lineup is quite good. Both teams finished with a top-five offense in the AL.

Next. Astros, Red Sox to provide plenty of offensive firepower in ALCS. dark

The 108-win Red Sox and 103-win Astros always felt like on a collision course all season long. This series, on paper, is too close to call. Each team has valid reasons to feel confident. The one edge Houston possesses heading into the ALCS could lie with the bullpen. But anything could happen in a seven-game series. Let’s watch and find out.

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