Boston Red Sox's Christian Vazquez tries to tag Houston Astros' Michael Brantley

Boston Red Sox’s Christian Vazquez (7) misses the tag as Houston Astros’ Michael Brantley scores on a sacrifice fly by Myles Straw during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

  • The Houston Astros are -160 favorites to defeat the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, which starts Friday, October 15th at Minute Maid Park
  • Houston won five of seven games from the BoSox this season
  • Boston beat the Astros in five games in the 2018 ALCS

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are arriving to the American League Championship Series in similar fashion.

Boston dispatched the defending AL champion Tampa Bay Rays in four games in the ALDS. Likewise, it took Houston only four games to be moving past the Chicago White Sox.

Their last postseason meeting was during the 2018 ALCS. In that set, Boston won in five games along the path to their most-recent World Series title.

Oddsmakers do not foresee history repeating itself. They are establishing the Astros as the -160 favorites to defeat the Red Sox. Houston won five of seven regular-season games from Boston this season.

Red Sox vs Astros ALCS Odds

Team Moneyline
Boston Red Sox +134
Houston Astros -160

Odds as of October 12th at FanDuel.

This is the fifth successive season in which the Astros have reached the ALCS. The best-of-seven series begins with games Friday-Saturday at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Then the series switches locales. Games 3, 4, and 5 are slated for Boston’s Fenway Park on October 18-19-20.

If necessary, Games 6 and 7 are back at Minute Maid Park on October 22-23. The entire series is being broadcast by the FOX Network.

Anticipating A Long Series

Prop wagers are also out on the series. Based on those lines, online sports betting sites are expecting this ALCS to be a long, drawn-out affair.

In a series total games prop, six games and seven games are co-favorites. Each are providing odds of +200.

There’s also an offering of an exact series outcome prop wager. In this bet, players can take the Astros in six games or Houston in seven games. Each will garner a betting line of +390.

Astros Have Been There, Done That

Houston is joining the 1995-99 Atlanta Braves and the 1971-75 Oakland Athletics as the only teams in the divisional era (since 1969) to participate in the LCS in five consecutive years. Interestingly, both the Braves and A’s played in three World Series during their five-year reigns atop their respective leagues.

Houston has been to two World Series over the past four years. The Astros won in 2017 and lost in 2019.

Two Potent Offenses

If you’re looking to watch nail-biting 2-1 pitching duels, this isn’t the series for you. The Red Sox scored 24 runs in their three ALDS wins over the Rays. In their three triumphs over the Chicago White Sox, the Astros counted 25 runs. At the same time, the BoSox surrendered 20 runs over four games against Tampa Bay. Houston pitching was roughed up for 18 runs in four games by the ChiSox.

Boston (.449) and Houston (.444) were 2-3 in the AL in slugging percentage this season. Houston (.783) and Boston (.777) also ran 2-3 in OPS. The Astros led the league in on-base percentage (339). In fourth at .328 were the Red Sox.

In seven regular-season games against each other, Houston scored 42 runs, while Boston put 25 runners across home plate.

 Astros Holding Edge Over Red Sox

There are other interesting patterns at work during Houston’s five-year run to the ALCS. In odd-numbered years, the Astros win. In even-numbered years, Houston loses. When the Astros hold the home-field advantage in the ALCS, they’re 2-0. When they don’t, they’re 0-2.

Houston has the home-field edge and it’s an odd-numbered year.

Boston is the seventh wild card team to reach the ALCS. Wild cards are 4-8 overall. The Red Sox are 1-2 in the ALCS as a wild card club.

Pick: Houston Astros to advance (-160)

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Robert Duff

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