The Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, the last two teams from the American League to have won the World Series (2017 and 2018, respectively), are facing off in this year’s ALCS to see who will win the AL Pennant and head back to the Fall Classic.
Both teams got to the ALCS after beating their ALDS opponents in four games. And with a couple of days off, each should be ready to put their best pitchers and players out on the field in what could be a very exciting series.
Here is everything that you need to know about the Red Sox vs Astros ALCS.
Red Sox vs Astros ALCS schedule
Here is the full schedule for the Red Sox vs Astros series (* denotes “if necessary”):
Oct. 15: Red Sox 4, Astros 5
Oct. 16: Red Sox 9, Astros 5
Oct. 18: Astros 3, Red Sox 12
Oct. 19: Astros 9, Red Sox 2
Oct. 20: Astros 9, Red Sox 1
Oct. 22: Red Sox 0, Astros 5
Red Sox vs Astros matchup preview
The Boston Red Sox finished the 2021 regular season with 92 win, which was good enough to earn them the top Wild Card spot in the AL, but meant that they had to play their long-time rival the New York Yankees in the one-game Wild Card, which they won. Their reward was to play another divisional rival, 100-win Tampa Bay Rays. Of course, since we’re talking about the Red Sox and not the Rays, they obviously beat them too.
After dropping Game 1 of the ALDS in Tampa, the Red Sox won three straight games to win the series and move on. Outside of that Game 1, where they were held scoreless, the Red Sox offense has been hot, scoring six runs in each game and 14 in Game 2 of the ALDS. After the first five games of the postseason, Kike Hernandez leads the Sox in all offensive categories, posting a .435 batting average, hitting two home runs and driving in 6 RBIs. But he hasn’t been a one-man wrecking crew: Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber also have two home runs each (the Sox have 11 home runs total this postseason), while Devers and Alex Verdugo have also driven in 6 RBIs.
The Red Sox also clinched their ALDS in dramatic fashion, winning both Game 3 and Game 4 with dramatic walk-offs.
In the other dugout, the Astros were the AL West champions this year, winning 95 games. They have already beaten one team with Sox in their names, besting the Chicago White Sox in four games.
As hot as the Red Sox’s offense has been, the Astros have been just as good this postseason. They’ve scored 31 runs in their four-game ALDS, including posting a 10 spot in the clincher. The Astros have also been getting fewer runs via the long ball, as they only have four home runs as a team (Kyle Tucker leads the way with two). Key Astros players Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa all had a good series against the White Sox swinging the bat as well.
But good pitching can silence a good offense, and the pitching matchups for the first two games of the ALCS have been announced. For Game 1, the Red Sox will start Chris Sale while the Astros run out Framber Valdez, both of which will look to improve on poor first postseason outings in the ALDS. Game 2 will feature Nathan Eovaldi for the Red Sox and Luis Garcia for the Astros.
Heading into the ALCS, the Astros are the betting favorites to win.
How to watch Red Sox vs Astros in the U.S.
The Red Sox vs Rays series will be split between Fox and its cable sports channel Fox Sports 1. Game 1 on Oct. 15 will air on Fox, with Game 2 and Game 7 (if necessary) possibly airing on the flagship network; the rest of the series will be broadcast on FS1.
Fox is one of the four major U.S. networks, with a local affiliate station in just about every U.S. TV market. This means that it is easily accessible to all, be it through all cable/satellite TV providers or for those receiving local signals via a TV antenna. Fox is also available on all four of the major live TV streaming services (Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV).
FS1 is the cable sports arm owned by Fox and will handle the majority of the network’s ALCS. The channel is available on most pay-TV subscription packages (just double check to make sure it’s on yours) as well as live streaming services (available on Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV). There is also an FS1 app that viewers can watch the games on.
How to watch Red Sox vs Astros in the U.K.
Even though baseball is America’s pastime, any fans of the game over in the U.K. can still tune in for playoff and World Series action. BT Sport will broadcast the games to its subscribers through its ESPN subchannel.
You will need to be a BT Sports subscriber to watch the network’s coverage of the MLB playoffs. A monthly subscription is available at £25.
How to watch Red Sox vs Astros from anywhere in the world
You don’t have to be in the U.S. (or even the U.K.) to watch the 2021 MLB playoffs from first pitch to the last out. MLB has shared all of the international broadcasters covering the games, but if you’ve cut the cord entirely and none of these options are immediately available to you, there’s still the option of a VPN, or virtual private network.
A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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