The American League Championship Series begins Friday night (8 p.m. ET, Fox) when the Boston Red Sox take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 in Houston.
World Series odds
Red Sox (+400)
Game 1 odds
Red Sox +1.5 runs (-185)
Red Sox moneyline (+110)
Is covering a one-run loss worth the difference in odds if you're wanting to bet the Red Sox?
Astros -1.5 runs (+150)
Astros moneyline (-135)
A two-run or bigger Astros win is a nice payoff.
Over 8 runs (-115)
Under 8 runs (-105)
There's no hook here to think about. A push is in play.
Chris Sale vs. Framber Valdez
Sale missed much of the regular season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He started nine games in the regular season and had a 3.16 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings. Valdez also missed time at the start of the regular season after breaking a finger in spring training. He had a 3.14 ERA in 134 2/3 innings pitched and struck out 125 with a 1.25 WHIP.
Hitters to watch
Red Sox OF Kiké Hernandez
Hernandez delivered the series-winning sacrifice fly against the Rays in the ALDS. Hernandez also had eight hits over Games 2 and 3 of the ALDS and was a huge reason why Boston won three consecutive games after losing Game 1.
Astros SS Carlos Correa
Correa was 5-of-13 in the ALDS win over the White Sox with four RBIs and two doubles. He also had a walk in every game.
Bets to consider
Astros -0.5 after 5 innings (+105)
If you think the Astros are going to win the game, you should take them giving a half run through the first five innings of the game. It’s far better value than betting the Astros to lead after 5 at -130. Houston’s offense was phenomenal against the White Sox and should carry that at home in Game 1. Don’t be surprised if the Astros get out to an early lead.
Astros over 4.5 runs (+120)
These are enticing odds here — Houston is -140 to score over 3.5 runs. The Astros scored 6 or more runs in every game of the ALDS and scored 5.3 runs per game in the regular season.
Final score will be an even number (+135)
Eh, why not. An odd-numbered total is at -160, so this feels worth a bet.
Astros and under 9.5 total runs (+175)
Here’s where we make a prediction that Houston wins Game 1, 5-3. So yes, that’s an Astros cover, an even-numbered total and right on the over/under of eight runs in the game.