The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are facing off in a rematch of the 2018 American League Championship Series.
That ALCS ended with Boston defeating Houston in five games to advance to the World Series, where it would finish off its dominant campaign by taking down the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two teams have met in the postseason only one other time in 2017, when the Astros topped the Red Sox 3-1 in the Division Series and went on to win their first championship in franchise history.
The Astros are in the midst of their fifth consecutive postseason appearance after winning the American League West title for the fourth time in five years. Houston has been one of the most consistent organizations in MLB having made it to at least the ALCS in each of the last five seasons.
The Red Sox enter the series after upsetting the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, 3-1. Alex Cora added to his impressive playoff resume and is now 15-4 in 19 postseason games as Sox skipper. He has yet to lose a playoff series.
Cora is facing off against some familiar faces as he served as Astros bench coach during their 2017 World Series campaign. He was suspended for the 2020 season due to his role in Houston's sign-stealing scandal.
Here’s everything you need to know for the Red Sox-Astros series
What is the Red Sox-Astros ALCS schedule?
Game 1: Astros 5, Red Sox 4
Game 2: Red Sox 9, Astros 5
Game 3: Red Sox 12, Astros 3
Game 4: Astros 9, Red Sox 2
Game 5: Wednesday, Oct. 20, Astros at Red Sox, 5:08 p.m. ET (FS1)
Game 6: Friday, Oct. 22, Red Sox at Astros, 8:08 p.m. ET* (FS1)
Game 7: Saturday, Oct. 23, Red Sox at Astros, 8:08 p.m. ET* (FOX or FS1)
The ALDS is played in a 2-3-2 format where the team with the better regular-season record gets home field for Games 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7. The Astros finished at 95-67, winning the AL West by five games over the Seattle Mariners (90-72), so the series begins at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas for the first two games before heading to Fenway Park in Boston on Monday.
What TV channel is the Red Sox-Astros playoff series on?
All games for the series will be broadcast on FOX or FS1. Game 3 will be on FS1.
How to stream Red Sox-Astros free online
All games can be streamed on MLB.TV, FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app. Viewers can also check out the series on FuboTV (free trial).
How to listen to Red Sox-Astros on the radio
ESPN Radio will broadcast all MLB postseason games for listeners.
Red Sox and Astros starting pitchers for ALCS
With the series tied 2-2, both teams will turn to their Game 1 starters. Houston will send Framber Valdez to the mound in an attempt to take a 3-2 series lead back to Minute Maid Park. Valdez lasted just two and two-thirds innings in Game 1, allowing three runs, two of them earned, on six hits. Thursday's start will be the left-hander's third of the postseason. He previously lasted four and one-third innings against the White Sox, giving up four earned runs on seven hits.
The Red Sox will go with Chris Sale for the final game of the series in Boston. The lanky left-hander pitched just two and two-thirds innings in the first game of the ALCS, allowing one earned run on five hits. Like Valdez, this will be his third start in October, previously pitching against the Rays in the ALDS. Sale was roughed up for five runs on four hits in just one inning.