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Friday ALCS Game 1 open thread

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The Houston Astros are deep in the playoffs once again, facing off against the the wild card Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

MLB: ALDS-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Red Sox starter Chris Sale, after giving up a grand slam against the Rays in the ALDS on October 8, 2021.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB postseason keeps rolling along tonight with the start of the American League Championship Series. We’re one series away from the World Series, with the Dodgers and Braves vying to represent the National League. That series starts tomorrow night at 8:07 PM ET on TBS.

On the AL side, tonight marks the first of seven games, if necessary, between the Red Sox and Astros.

So how did we get here? Boston defeated the Yankees in the single-elimination wild card round and beat the Rays three games to one in a best of five series. Houston got to this point after going 3-1 in five games against the White Sox. That sets up the game tonight.

Today’s schedule:

Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros, ALCS Game 1

8:07 PM ET, FOX

Chris Sale gets the start for Boston. In his return from Tommy John surgery, the lefty threw 42.2 innings during the regular season with a 3.16 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. But he struggled mightily in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays, removed after one inning and five earned runs.

The Astros will send Framber Valdez to the mound tonight. In 134.2 regular season innings, he went 11-6 with a 3.14 ERA, 4.01 FIP, and 1.25 WHIP. Like Sale, Valdez had a forgettable start in the ALDS when he allowed four runs in 4.1 innings.

Red Sox lineup

  1. Enrique Hernandez CF
  2. Kyle Schwarber 1B
  3. Xander Bogaerts SS
  4. Rafael Devers 3B
  5. J.D. Martinez DH
  6. Hunter Renfroe RF
  7. Alex Verdugo LF
  8. Christian Arroyo 2B
  9. Christian Vazquez C

LHP Chris Sale

Astros lineup

  1. Jose Altuve 2B
  2. Michael Brantley DH
  3. Alex Bregman 3B
  4. Yordan Alvarez LF
  5. Carlos Correa SS
  6. Kyle Tucker RF
  7. Yuli Gurriel 1B
  8. Chas McCormick CF
  9. Martin Maldonado C

LHP Framber Valdez