The Astros looked strong throughout the season, and arguably for periods were standing out as clearly the best team in the Major League Baseball, winning a massive 101 games this regular season. The roof in Houston is closed so that the weather can not affect the game in any way. (Although he's 28, he had the misfortune to come up with the White Sox in 2010; until the December trade that sent him to Boston for a stable of prospects, he'd never been on a team that won more than 88 games.) He admitted yesterday that he wasn't sure what to expect.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch had a couple of goals for his team against AL Cy Young Award candidate Chris Sale. It was fine. Not Verlander's best - not even with the Astros, with whom he's been brilliant - but good enough to get the win and put the Astros in prime position to take over the series. Bauer also gets hit hard on 0-0 counts (.787 slugging) and 1-1 counts (.929 slugging).
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.
McHugh earned the win, improving his record to 5-2 with a 3.55 ERA. In the meantime, the offense got going against opposing starter Lance McCullers Jr., tagging him for five runs in four and a third innings. Major League Baseball odds have the Astros as -190series favourites at Sports Interaction.
Since coming to Boston in 2016 as a $217 million free agent, Price has struggled to establish himself as the ace that the Red Sox were hoping for. He's just the tip of the iceberg on the MLB's top run-producing unit, which averages more than 5.5 runs per outing. He led the majors in strikeouts this season, with 308, the most by any pitcher in 15 years.
What did he tell himself after the third home run?
Altuve hit.346 this year, his fourth straight 200-hit season.
Quite a comeback from his only previous postseason - in 2015, he batted just.154 (4 for 26) without an extra-base hit.
Springer hit 34 homers despite missing time with an injury. Carlos Correa has been back, but has been slumping since his return.
However it would be the Houston Astros 9 hits and 3 home runs that would lead to Sale's departure from the game after just 5.0 innings on the mound.
If the Astros see Pomeranz throwing the way he did last week, the Sox are going to be in business.
Judge, who blasted 52 home runs during the regular season, struck out four times.
From there, Altuve would only continue his hot night at the plate. Mitch Moreland with 23 homers and Hanley Ramirez with 22 dingers supplied the rest of Boston's power. Jose Altuve - batting champion, MVP favorite and now, finally, postseason hero - is used to being underappreciated.
Our prediction: The Astros win this series.
Getting the start at Minute Maid Park is meaningful for Keuchel, who is 36-21 with a 2.94 ERA at home in his career. While he has shown glimpses of the pitcher he was a year ago, Porcello is a major gamble to put on the mound in a potentially series-deciding game, especially against a team as offensively savvy as the Astros. The reason you go with Fister is because of how he can pitch to this Astros lineup, and not throw to it.