Red Sox take on Astros in ALCS Opener on Friday
After the all-star break started, the Red Sox looked like they were not going to be able to capitalize on their first half success. Oh well, back down to Earth for the team that exceeded expectations early into the season. However the Sox did not go away without a fight.
In one of the tightest American League Wildcard races to date, with the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Mariners all fighting for playoff spots, Boston managed to pull away from the rest to host their heated rival of the past hundred years at home in front of the Fenway faithful.
The Red Sox scored early and carried on to defeat the Yankees 6-2, however the job was not done. They were to face the Rays, the American League's best team, in the ALDS.
The Sox once again proved they were not fazed and stole a game in Tampa, bringing the series back to Boston tied 1-1. The Sox went on to win two straight and win the series, with both of their final two victories coming by walk-off fashion.
On the other side of the bracket, the always dangerous Houston Astros pulled off the 3-1 series victory against the rising Chicago White Sox. This sets up another Houston vs Boston matchup in the ALCS, the first since Boston defeated Houston 4-1 in their World Series winning campaign in 2018.
It will be much harder for the Red Sox to win this time around, however both teams are not as strong on the mound as they used to be, with Boston losing David Price and Craig Kimbrel, Houston has also lost Justin Verlander and much of their star-studded bullpen from 2018.
Young talent in both teams is emerging however as Boston's Alex Verdugo looks to take it straight to Houston's young hitters Yordan Álvarez and Kyle Tucker.
The Red Sox will need everything they have in this series in order to take the next step in one of the most unprecedented postseason runs in MLB history.
Boston travels to Houston to start the series on Friday. First pitch is at 8:07 pm.