Astros soundly beat Red Sox in ALDS Game 1

Friday, 06 Oct, 2017

Collin McHugh pitches for Houston instead of Dallas Keuchel, who will throw a simulated game. If you like runs, this will be the game for you, as the Red Sox will emerge victorious in an 8-7 slugfest. If the Astros do the same, Verlander will take the mound in Boston. He can't get the last out, so Houston brings on Francisco Liriano to close out the top half of the inning.

Add it all up, and Price could be the Red Sox's secret weapon this postseason. THE PICK: Red Sox in 4.

On Thursday, Altuve's hits soared a combined 1,206 feet; the first two, off Sale, went over the fence in left center, and the last - off reliever Austin Maddox, as the fans chanted "M.V.P." - flew up by the train tracks high above left.

Alex Bregman, who was mentioned frequently in the Sale trade rumors last winter, set the tone with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. That is Altuve's 3rd home run of the game.

The Astros led the major leagues in just about every single offensive category. He is 9th player all-time to hit three home runs in a postseason game.

The Red Sox have aces in Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, who have both been outstanding all season long.

However, when Houston acquired right-hander Justin Verlander on August 31, Keuchel was forced to surrender his position fronting the rotation to the 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award victor. There are legitimate questions whether John Farrell should have limited Sale's early season workload to conserve his strength for when the games mattered most.

Boston's bullpen, led by Craig Kimbrel, Addison Reed, David Price, Carson Smith and Joe Kelly, is a strength. "You want to face the best and he's one of the best in the game right now and so, it will be a lot of fun".

Verlander allows a hit to Ramirez, but otherwise gets off the bump without issue.

Astros starter Justin Verlander, meanwhile, kept the Red Sox in the ballpark and largely off-balance for six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

"To start the sixth inning, we're in a spot where we would like to ideally stay left-handed in that part of the lineup, and after the double and then a walk, felt like we had to make a move at that point", Farrell said. Eduardo Nunez acquired midseason by the Red Sox is versatile as he can play nearly anywhere in the infield, but he too has been nagged by a sprained right knee ligament. To get there, they first have to defeat Boston.

Another way to think of the Red Sox offensive struggles is to consider run differential, which is the total number of runs a team scores subtracted by the total number it gives up.

Sale was the obvious choice to start Game 1 against Houston's Justin Verlander, and any doubt was removed when the Red Sox lefty was scratched from the meaningless regular-season finale against the Astros on Sunday.

Late Thursday night, the Red Sox officially removed Nunez from their ALDS roster, replacing him with outfielder Chris Young.

"I hope it makes him nervous as can be and he's a mess", Manager A.J. Hinch said, to laughs, before the game.

Here in Manchester, Comcast subscribers can watch the game on Channel 269. The game is scheduled for a 4:08 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.