Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros ALCS Game 1 Odds & Pick

October 15, 8:07 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Bos +125/Hous -135

It's a rematch of an American League championship series of three seasons ago when the Red Sox and Astros open this best-of-seven ALCS Friday night in Houston. Boston disposed of the Astros in that ALCS in five games, on its way to a World Series title, but Houston infamously won the AL pennant and the World Series the following season. Now, they're both back for more.

It's also a battle between lefties when Framber Valdez hits the hill for the home team here against Chris Sale for the visitors. How are we playing Game 1 with our free baseball betting pick?

ALCS Betting Odds

The playoff baseball betting lines opened Houston at around -145 for Game 1 with an over/under of 8.5. Early betting action then dipped the Astros about a dime, to -135. Houston is also listed as a -150 favorite to win this ALCS, with Boston getting +130.

ALCS Betting Preview

Boston reached this ALCS by first beating the Yankees in the AL wild-card game, then tripping up top-seeded Tampa Bay in four games in an ALDS, finishing the Rays off with a 6-5 win Monday night. The Red Sox actually got shut out in the first game of that best-of-five series, then won the next three to pull what we'll call an upset. Boston began that ALDS as a +180 underdog to win it, then at +310 after losing Game 1. It took some balls to take the Sox at that point, but to those who did, we salute you. Houston, meanwhile, reached this ALCS by eliminating the White Sox in four games in the other ALDS, finishing that series off with a 10-1 victory Tuesday. The Astros took the first two games of that series at home, lost Game 3 in Chicago, then won Game 4. Houston went off in that that series as a -135 favorite to win it. The Astros finished three games ahead of the Red Sox in the regular-season standings, 95 wins to 92 and took the season series from Boston five games to two.

Game 1 Pitching Match-Up

Valdez, by our strict standards, hit 11/22 on quality starts this season, but he's 0 for his last two. Last Friday in Game 2 of that ALDS against the White Sox, he gave up four runs and seven hits through 4 1/3 innings, although Houston rallied to win that game 9-4. And in his last regular-season start, he gave up four runs, and two home runs through five frames of an Astros loss to Oakland. Still, Houston played 13-9 with Valdez this season, and they're 1-0 with him this postseason. In two starts this season against Boston, Valdez allowed just two runs and ten hits through 14 1/3 innings, with two walks against 18 whiffs. The Astros won both those games. Sale hit just 1/9 on quality starts this season, which for him just started back in August, but much of that was due to a short leash. Five times he pitched to within three outs or less of a QS, only to get pulled. Last Friday in Game 2 of that ALDS against Tampa, he got touched for five runs in one inning of work, although the Sox came back to win that game 14-6. So he's allowed ten runs and 12 hits over his last three starts through just 8 2/3 total innings. Boston played 7-2 with Sale this year, and it's 1-0 with him this postseason. Over his two most recent outings against Houston, both back in 2019, Sale allowed seven runs - five earned - and two homers through 11 1/3 innings. The Sox split those two games.

Splits With the Sticks

Boston batted .264 against left-handed pitching this season, with a .329 team OBP and a .429 team slugging percentage.

Houston batted .270 against LH pitching, which ranked No. 2 in the Majors, with a .340 team OBP, which also ranked No. 2, and a .449 team slugging percentage, which ranked No. 3. So we rank this Astros line-up among the top two in the Majors in this split.

The Bullpens

The Boston bullpen posted a 3.99 ERA this season, along with a 1.39 WHIP and a 2.37 K/BB ratio. The Houston pen put up a 4.06 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, and a 2.47 K/BB ratio.

MLB Betting Trends

  • The Red Sox played 43-38 on the road this season.
  • The Astros played 51-30 at home.
  • The Red Sox played 35-31 against left-handed starters this season.
  • The Astros played 34-28 against LH starters.

Totals Report

The Under is 84-72 in Red Sox games this season. Overs played 86-68 in Astros games. Overs played 45-35 at Minute Maid Park this season.

Red Sox vs. Houston Prediction Game 1 ALCS

We're calling both this pitching match-up and the bullpen comparison washes, but we give Hou-ston a slight edge with the sticks. Also, the Astros took five of seven games from Boston during the regular season. We like Houston to take Game 1 of this ALCS at what seems like a reasonable price. 

Free Pick: 
Take the Astros -135