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Thursday ALDS open thread

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The American League Division Series matchups both get underway on Thursday. Sale and Verlander go in the late afternoon game. Should be fun.

Houston Astros v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Here we are at the start of the real playoffs, where not everything will be decided in one chaotic winner-take-all game. It’s best-of-five Division Series starting tonight for the American League.

One game, at least, is the stuff that you figure playoff matchups should be made of. For one team, Chris Sale, For the other, Justin Verlander. This doesn’t preclude the final score from being something like 8-6, of course, but if any game was going to be a throwback 1-0, this would be the one.

The Red Sox play the Astros starting at about 4:00. Later on, around 7:30, the Yankees will play the Indians. It’s possible for both the Yankees and the Red Sox to lose playoff games tonight! That’s kind of exciting. Of course, they might both win. That would be less exciting, especially since both of the hated AL East foes are on the road. These are the games they are “supposed” to lose.

Red Sox/Astros will be airing on MLB Network, while Yankees/Indians will be on Fox Sports 1. Here’s the starting lineups for the Houston-Boston game:

Today's Lineups

BOSTON RED SOX HOUSTON ASTROS
Xander Bogaerts - SS George Springer - CF
Eduardo Nunez - DH Alex Bregman - 3B
Andrew Benintendi - LF Jose Altuve - 2B
Mookie Betts - RF Carlos Correa - SS
Mitch Moreland - 1B Evan Gattis - DH
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Josh Reddick - RF
Rafael Devers - 3B Yulieski Gurriel - 1B
Sandy Leon - C Marwin Gonzalez - LF
Jackie Bradley - CF Brian McCann - C
Chris Sale - LHP Justin Verlander - RHP