Red Sox vs Astros: Game 5 of the 2018 ALCS brings us back to Houston with the Red Sox one win away from advancing to the World Series. It wasn’t certain before Game 4 ended who would start for Boston, as lefty ace Chris Sale. Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello won’t be able to pitch, and Eduardo Rodriguez threw seven pitches in relief in Game 4. That left David Price, who has a 9.95 ERA in two postseason starts this year and who’ll start Game 5 on short rest. On the other side, it’s Justin Verlander, who notched a quality start in the Game 1 win over Boston.
ALCS Game 5: Red Sox vs. Astros
- Date: Thursday, Oct. 18
- Time: 8:09 p.m. ET
- Location: Minute Maid Park in Houston
- TV channel: TBS
- Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Odds: Astros -190/Red Sox +160
- Picks: Check SportsLine’s MLB pick sheet for all your daily odds.
Red Sox: How does Alex Cora handle his pitching staff in what should’ve been Sale’s start and with a short-rest Price on the mound? He got just four innings from Porcello in Game 4, and this of course will be the third straight game without an off day. Boston already has a dubious bullpen, but despite all those factors Cora is going to need to wring outs from some assemblage of hurlers. Which levers he pulls will matter greatly.
Astros: Houston’s task is to take step one toward coming back from down 3-1 in this best-of-seven series. Teams in the Astros’ position — down 3-1 and having to play a potential Game 6 and Game 7 on the road — have come back to win the series in question just 14.9 percent of the time. It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult. On the upside, those same teams are almost .500 in Game 5. So Houston’s got that going for it.
Game prediction picks
No reason to get cute with this pick. It’s Verlander at home against a Boston pitching staff that has no clear answers in Game 5. The Astros send it back to Boston for a Game 6.
Pick: Astros (-190)
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