ALCS Bracket 2018: Dates, TV Schedule, Early Odds and Picks

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08:  The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Cleveland Indians 11-3 in Game Three of the American League Division Series to advance to the American League Championship Series at Progressive Field on October 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2018 ALCS matchup is set.

The Houston Astros are still on track to defend their World Series title after sweeping the Cleveland Indians, while the 108-win Boston Red Sox avenged back-to-back ALDS exits by knocking off the rival New York Yankees.

The team that comes out on top in this year's ALCS will likely be heavily favored in the World Series, but first, they'll need to survive what figures to be a hotly contested best-of-seven battle.

Ahead is a look at the full ALCS schedule, complete with game times, TV information, updated World Series odds and a series preview.

      

2018 ALCS Schedule

Game 1 at BOS: Saturday, October 13 (8:09 p.m. ET, TBS)

Game 2 at BOS: Sunday, October 14 (7:09 p.m. ET, TBS)

Game 3 at HOU: Tuesday, October 16 (5:09 p.m. ET, TBS)

Game 4 at HOU: Wednesday, October 17 (8:39 p.m. ET, TBS)

Game 5 at HOU: Thursday, October 18 (8:09 p.m. ET, TBS)

Game 6 at BOS: Saturday, October 20 (5:09 p.m. ET, TBS)

Game 7 at BOS: Sunday, October 21 (7:39 p.m. ET, TBS)

    

Odds to Win World Series

Astros: +210

Red Sox: +215

Odds via OddsShark

    

ALCS Preview

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 9: J.D. Martinez #28 and Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox pose for a photograph as they celebrate with champagne in the clubhouse after clinching the American League Division Series in game four against the New York Yankees on
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox finished the regular season with the best record in baseball, but the Houston Astros might be better built for October success.

The Red Sox won 108 games on the strength of the best offense in baseball. With AL MVP candidates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez leading the way, they led the majors in batting average (.268), OPS (.792) and runs scored (876).

In the opposite dugout, the Astros boasted the top pitching staff in all of baseball, leading the majors in team ERA (3.11), starters' ERA (3.16) and bullpen ERA (3.03).

That's not to say either team is one-dimensional.

The Red Sox finished eighth in team ERA (3.75) and the Astros finished sixth in runs scored (797), so these are well-balanced squads capable of winning in a number of different ways.

Justin Verlander
Justin VerlanderTim Warner/Getty Images

The starters for Game 1 and Game 2 of the series have already been announced.

Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52 ERA, 290 K, 214.0 IP) and Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA, 237 K, 158.0 IP) will square off in the opener, while Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.88 ERA, 276 K, 200.1 IP) and David Price (16-7, 3.58 ERA, 177 K, 176.0 IP) will toe the rubber in Game 2.

Verlander (5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 7 K) and Cole (7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 12 K) both pitched well in their ALDS starts, and the same can be said for Sale (5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8 K).

However, Price lasted just 1.2 innings in his ALDS outing, allowing a pair of home runs and three earned runs total before getting the hook.

That said, he pitched well against the Astros back in June, allowing five hits and three earned runs over six innings to earn the win.

The Astros won the season series by a slim 4-3 margin, and this series really is a coin flip. Don't be surprised if this one goes the distance and concludes in a thrilling Game 7.

     

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.   

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