Red Sox, Astros  ALCS Preview

By Julia Bartlett

The Red Sox, with 108 wins in the regular season, breaking their previous record of 105, and the Astros with the second best record with 103 wins,  face off against each other this weekend for the pennant.The Red Sox have beaten the Yankees, their biggest rival, and the Astros swept the Indians.

Both teams have had enormous success during the regular season, which is no surprise, due to the fact that both teams have the League’s highest ranked players on their teams. The Red Sox ranked first in almost all categories including, team batting average of .268, RBIs, 829 and home runs,208. The Astros are also up there, in fourth in the American league, with a team batting average of .255, 763 RBIs and 205 home runs.

Saturday, Chris Sale will be starting with an ERA of 2.11. Chris Sale started game one against the Yankees, winning 5 to 4. Justin Verlander is starting game 1 for the Astros, with an ERA of 2.52. He pitched the first game against the Indians, winning 7-2.

Tonight, the Astros and the Red Sox face off at 8:09 PM.Both lineups are in, for the Astros, George Springer leads off playing center field, then Jose Altuve at second, after him Alex Bregman Playing third, then Yuli Gurriel at first, Tyler White as the DH,Marvin Gonzalez, Carlos Correa playing shortstop, Martin Maldonado playing catcher, and Josh Reddick in right field.

The Red Sox have Mookie Betts batting leadoff and playing right field, Andrew Benintendi in left field, J.D Martinez as the DH, Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, steve pearce playing first, brock Holt playing second, Eduardo Nunez playing third, Jackie Bradley Jr playing center field and Sandy Leon playing Catcher.  

Although this season the Astros went 4 out of 7 against the Red Sox, the Red Sox will have home field advantage. However,the red sox have an injury that could cost them. The Red Sox  knuckleball pitcher, Steven Wright has been taken off the lineup do to a right knee injury, and it is currently unknown if Mitch Moreland (a first baseman for the Red Sox) will play in the ALCS, he  has been out because of a pulled hamstring in game two against the Yankees. He however is on the roster for the ALCS, but will not play in the first game against the AStros ready to be back in the lineup for game one against the Astros.

Unlike some other teams, the Red Sox have an amazing bench, including Brock Holt who hit the cycle in the postseason for the first time ever, and is batting .447 in the last 47 at bats, with 5 hammers and 17 RBIs. J.D Martinez, is probably one of the best trades we've done and one of the best starters we have, with a batting average of .330, 130 RBIs, 43 home runs 188 hits for the regular season. Mookie Betts, surprisingly has not had any RBIs in the post season thus far, but had the leading batting average, .346, 80 RBIs and 32 home runs. He had the highest batting average for most of the regular season and is in contention for MVP.

However, Leon has been struggling for awhile now with only 2 hits in his last 45 at bats, this could be why the  Red Sox are carrying 3 catcher’s on the roster and have such a strong bench just in case Leon has to hit and the game is on the line. The Astros are very hot as well, They outscored the Indians 21-6 in three games in the ALDS.  George Springer is on fire at the moment, 6 for 14 with 3 home runs! Marwin Gonzalez is 7 for 13 with 5 RBIs and Alex Bregman, who went 5 for 9 with two home runs. However Yuli Gurriel went tow for 11 against the Indians. Both teams’ offence are incredible as well as the defense.

Just last year we had the same match up, Chris Sale pitching against Justin Verlander in the ALDS, the Red Sox lost that game when he allowed 9 hits, seven runs and three home runs, losing to Verlander 8 to 2. The Astros ended up winning the series 3 games to 1.

Game two starters will be David Price for the Red Sox, who has had a bit of a rough postseason going 0 for 9 with 6.03 ERA. The Astros game two pitcher will bw Gerrit Cole who has a postseason ERA of 1.29. Many may be surprised by the fact that Price is pitching game two because of his past but Alex Cora believes that makes the most sense and on Thursday he stated, “ I trust the guy”.  Alex Cora may be easing some people's nerves, but they are not the Yankees, in fact Price has done very well in the past pitching against the Astros.

This series should be very interesting because both teams are so incredibly talented and their records show that, I would not be surprised if this series goes to a game seven!