Trilogy anyone? The Red Sox and Astros face each other in the American League Championship Series, marking the third time the teams have met in the postseason in the last five years.
Like all trilogies, this one is spiced with drama. The managers are close friends. The teams were both implicated in a sign-stealing scandal that blew up a few years ago. The owner of one team has been revealed to be the father of the owner of the other team.
Wait, that’s a Star Wars trilogy plot point…
But you get the idea: the Astros and Red Sox have a history, and they’re both angling to win a second World Series in the last five years. The winner of the ALCS will have a chance to cement themselves as the team of INSERT WHATEVER THIS MODERN ERA IS.
This series will break a tie: in 2017, Houston defeated Boston in the AL Division Series; in 2018 the Red Sox beat the Astros in the ALCS. Both times, the winner went on to win the World Series (each time over the Dodgers).
ALCS Odds: Astros vs. Red Sox
Sportsbooks have Houston as the substantial favorite to win the ALCS:
- FanDuel: HOU (-156), BOS (+132)
- DraftKings: HOU (-155), BOS (+130)
- BetMGM: HOU (-155), BOS (+130)
- BetRivers: HOU (-165), BOS (+135)
ALCS Game 1 Odds
While the Game 1 pitchers had yet to be determined as of this Thursday morning post, the Astros are priced as favorites in the -147 to -149 range on oddsboards.
Other ALCS Series Bets
- FanDuel offers +950 on the Red Sox being up 3-0 after three games.
- DraftKings has +1000 for the Astros to win in a four-game sweep
- You can bet on whether the number of games will be odd (5 or 7) or even (4 or 6). BetMGM has it at -150 (Odd) and +115 (Even).
Which Team Is Playing Better?
The Red Sox and Astros played each other seven times this season, with Houston winning five times. The Astros dominated, outscoring the Sox 42-25.
The last time these two teams met was in June, more than four months ago. The Red Sox are playing better than they have all year, and with two walkoff wins in their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, they’re riding a high of emotion.
But the Astros are playing great ball right now, as they showed in a four-game defeat of the White Sox. If we rate the Red Sox and Astros as they are playing in October, here’s who has the advantages:
- Offense: Astros
- Defense: Astros
- Starting Pitching: Tie
- Relief Pitching: Astros
- Extra-Base Power: Red Sox
- Baserunning: Astros
Neither the Sox nor the Astros are getting great starting pitching, other than outings by Lance McCullers Jr. for Houston and Nathan Eovaldi for Boston.
The Red Sox have tons of power, but Houston has a deeper and more disciplined offense. They also run the bases and field the ball far better than Boston.
ALCS Pick: Houston in Six
It’s difficult to see how the Red Sox will beat the favored Astros in this series. I see Houston winning is six (DraftKings offers +390 on this outcome), which will be irritating to almost every fan outside of Houston.