Game 1 MLB Playoff Odds Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros

The best-of-five series kicks off Thursday at 3 Minute Maid Park with two of the best pitchers in the majors facing off against each other in Chris Sale versus Justin Verlander.

However, the Red Sox do have a jam-packed infield as Boston made a point to address a few issues at the trade deadline. That's unlikely. But the offense should hit the ball an awful lot, and it should definitely be a fun series for Astros fans to watch. The Astros have hit left-handers decently this season, but the Red Sox believe it's their best shot at winning at least one game in Houston. Sonny Gray will start the opener for New York.

Closer Ken Giles (2.30 ERA), and fellow right-handers Chris Devenski (2.68) and Joe Musgrove (1.44) are dependable. You can also find a free MLB live stream if you're a DIRECTV NOW or PlayStation Vue subscriber as the MLB Network is offered through the "Just Right" and "Core" packages, respectively.

The two World Series teams, the Cubs and Indians, were 13th and 18th in homers respectively. He's also struck out 43 while earning victories in all five starts. You can hear him fill in for some of the CLNS Red Sox Beat Podcasts when needed.

The Yankees acquired Gray in a trade from the Oakland Athletics on July 31.

Lancaster, a varsity baseball player at Kingwood High School, said he's not worried about the team's chances this year. Despite the lack of power, and notwithstanding the unspectacular run differential, the Sox bats are hardly anemic. Houston just has to overcome their recent failures in the post-season and they could end up in the ALCS. Then there's Pomeranz, whose 2017 performance has converted this extreme skeptic of the deal that brought him to Boston.

Justin Verlander starts Game 1. The Astros have an extremely limited amount of tickets available for the start of the team's playoff run.

Gray has only appeared in the playoffs in 2013 with Oakland.

The 2017 American League Divisional Round is set. But when Game 1 begins Thursday in Houston, they will have to prove it. Boston has always been a strong post-season team.

If the Red Sox are going to win this series, they need a big Game 1 performance from their ace. In his last eight starts, the 28-year-old went 3-4 with a 4.30 ERA.

The Red Sox rotation could give the Astros some trouble.

Another cause for hope has been the season-long performance of the bullpen.

"I definitely think there is some value in it. just more along the lines of knowing what to expect", he said.

Craig Kimbrel (1.43 ERA, 35 saves), Addison Reed (2.84 ERA, 19 saves) and David Price (6-3, 3.38 ERA) lead the way for the Boston relievers. Verlander won 15 games this season between Detroit and Houston, but since he's been with the Astros the veteran righty has been dominant. He had no decisions in both games but pitched well giving up three earned runs in 12 innings.

Let's take a look at the Astros career stats versus the Red Sox left-handed starters. After 260 regular-season games, Sale will make his first postseason start.

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