X

ALCS Bracket 2018: Updated Dates, Times, Schedule and World Series Odds

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 14, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 06:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Houston Astros reacts after a strikeout in the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians during Game Two of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday. Houston right fielder Josh Reddick and first baseman Yuli Gurriel hit ninth-inning home runs that turned a tight 3-2 lead into a comfortable five-run advantage.

The series stays in Boston for Game 2 on Sunday, when Red Sox southpaw David Price and Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole face off.

                

Remaining ALCS Schedule

Game 2: Houston at Boston, Sunday, 7:09 p.m. ET on TBS and Watch TBS

Game 3: Boston at Houston, Tuesday, 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS and Watch TBS

Game 4: Boston at Houston, Wednesday, 8:39 p.m. ET on TBS and Watch TBS

Game 5: Boston at Houston, Thursday, 8:09 p.m. ET on TBS and Watch TBS*

Game 6: Houston at Boston, Saturday, 5:09 p.m. ET on TBS and Watch TBS*

Game 7: Houston at Boston, Sunday, 7:39 p.m. ET on TBS and Watch TBS*

*If necessary.

                            

World Series Odds

Houston Astros: 37-20

Boston Red Sox: 5-2

Milwaukee Brewers: 69-20

Los Angeles Dodgers: 87-20

Odds according to OddsShark and accurate as of 2 a.m. ET Sunday.

               

What To Watch: Game 2

All eyes will be on Price as he looks to shake off past postseason struggles.

Price has a 5.28 ERA in 75.0 career playoff innings, and he's only registered one quality start in his past five attempts, dating back to 2015. In his lone 2018 playoff appearance, the left-hander allowed three earned runs in 1.2 innings in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees before being pulled.

There is one small silver lining if you're a believer in a pitcher's history against a batter: Most Astros who appeared in the Game 1 lineup haven't fared well versus Price. Shortstop Carlos Correa is 2-for-10, and outfielder George Springer is 5-of-24 with 14 strikeouts. A few changes could be made, but Correa and Springer should still be there.

For what it's worth, Price has been largely sensational at Fenway Park in 2018, going 9-2 with a 2.98 ERA and 95 punchouts in 96.2 regular-season innings. Opposing batters have managed just a .641 OPS against him in Boston.

Still, Price may have to top that form to hang with Cole, who struck out 276 batters in 200.1 innings and went 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA. The ex-Pittsburgh Pirate has been a model of consistency since joining the team in the offseason, as he hasn't pitched fewer than five innings or allowed more than four earned runs in any of his starts. Cole's floor seems high, which is a massive plus against a tough Red Sox lineup.

The starting-pitching edge favors the Astros, and the same could be said for the bullpen.

Houston has a fantastic relief weapon in the form of right-handed Lance McCullers Jr., a 25-year-old curveball artist with 80 career starts, a lifetime 3.67 ERA and 509 strikeouts in 453.2 innings.

He battled injuries this year and was forced to miss close to two months. When McCullers got back, he was the odd man out of the playoff rotation, as Cole, Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton occupied the four postseason spots.

McCullers has pitched the eighth inning three times this postseason and hasn't allowed a run. He and Ryan Pressly, who has a 0.77 ERA in 26 regular-season appearances with the Astros after a midseason deal with the Minnesota Twins, look like a invincible bridge between the starting rotation and closer Roberto Osuna.

Both players should be available out of the pen if needed, as neither threw more than one inning (or more than 18 pitches) Saturday. If Cole can give the bullpen something to defend in the seventh inning, it will be tough for the Sox to overcome.

Much like Saturday, look for another close game for much of the night. The guess here is that Price turns in a solid outing but can't match Cole, who tosses it to the Pressly-McCullers-Osuna trio to close out a win.

Prediction: Astros 4, Red Sox 2

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.