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ALDS Game 2 Preview: Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros

Houston took game one handily against Red Sox ace Chris Sale. Can Boston tie the score in game two?


The Astros won game one of the division series 8-2.

Houston jumped out ahead early Thursday afternoon, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to back to back solo home runs by Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. Boston would score one run in the second on a single by Sandy Leon and one more in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Rafael Devers, but other than that it was all Astros. Red Sox starter Chris Sale was pulled after five innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits, including three home runs. Houston starter Justin Verlander finished the night with six innings pitched, allowing two runs on six hits.

Game 2 Starters – Drew Pomeranz (LHP) vs Dallas Keuchel (LHP)

Pomeranz had a stellar season for Boston in 2017, posting a 3.32 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over 173.2 innings pitched. He was also the owner of a 9.02 K/9 and 3.58 BB/9. The lefty had a fairly good September, allowing 13 earned runs in 31.2 innings, striking out 25 and walking 12. In two starts against Houston during the regular season Pomeranz pitched a combined 12.1 innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, striking out seven and walking five. 

For all intents and purposes, going into September Keuchel was going to be Houston’s number one start come playoff time. Then Justin Verlander happened. That doesn’t detract at all from what Keuchel accomplished this season though. In 145.2 innings pitched the left hander posted a 2.90 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, along with a 7.72 K/9 and 2.90 BB/9. He even finished the season strong, with a 2.87 September ERA in 5 starts. This will be his first start against Boston this season. 

Lineups

Red Sox LineupHome Runs
Batting Average
On-Base Percentage
Bogaerts, SS0.000.000
Pedroia, 2B0.000.000
Benintendi, LF0.250.250
Betts, RF0.500.500
Moreland, 1B0.333.500
Ramirez, DH0.667.667
Devers, 3B0.000.000
Vazquez, C0.000.000
Bradley Jr., CF0.000.000
Astros Lineup
Home Runs
Batting Average
On-Base Percentage
Springer, CF0.000.000
Bregman, 3B1.500.500
Altuve, 2B3.750.750
Correa, SS0.000.000
Gattis, DH0.667.750
Reddick, RF0.667.750
Gurriel, 1B0.250.250
Gonzalez, LF0.250.250
McCann, C0.250.250

Who’s hot, and who’s not

Sandy Leon was the most productive hitter in Boston’s lineup Thursday, going 2-4 with two singles and one RBI. Hanley Ramirez made a strong showing as well, coming in to pinch hit for Eduardo Nunez. Ramirez went 2-3 with a double.

Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. combined to go 0-13 with five strikeouts and one walk in yesterday’s game. Devers did manage to drive in one of Boston’s two runs on a sac fly however. 

No one was hotter than Jose Altuve yesterday afternoon, racking up not just one, not just two, but three home runs in four at bats on Thursday. He was responsible for driving in three of Houston’s eight runs. Marwin Gonzalez and Brian McCann both finished the day 1-4 with two RBIs, and Evan Gattis smacked two doubles and walked in four plate appearances. 

George Springer went hitless yesterday, striking out in three out of four at bats. Carlos Correa also put up a goose egg, but managed to put the ball in play in every at bat. 

Prediction: Astros 5 – 2 Red Sox

The Boston lineup needs a major shot in the arm, but it likely won’t come against Dallas Keuchel, who’s grounder-inducing style of pitching is sure to stymie the Red Sox hitters all afternoon. Keuchel also has a career 2.57 post-season ERA, so I’m confident he won’t be shaken by the spotlight. Pomeranz, on the other hand, has not performed well in his limited playoff experience. Look for the Astros to build on last night’s offensive outburst and take game two with ease.

Where to Watch

Today’s game will start at 2:00 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on TBS.

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ALDS Game 2 Preview: Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros

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