Red Sox infielder carried off the field by manager John Farrell

Game 1 of the American League Division Series went to the heavy favorites, who toppled the Sox in an 8-2 game that will test the mettle of John Farrell's team. Recap our complete live updates and get all the stats you need in the provided box score.

Friday's matchup between Pomeranz and Keuchel features two men who would likely be the staff ace on most other teams (and Keuchel, a former Cy Young victor, was the Astros ace until Verlander arrived). Joe Musgrove will be the pitcher for the Astros trying to close out this game and he does just that, retiring all three Boston batters in order.

It is easy to worry about Sale after that outing, but the Red Sox must be able to stick with him.

Let's take a look at the Astros 25-man roster via Jake Kaplan. Houston's bullpen is one of the best in baseball, as Chris Devenski and Luke Gregorson shut down the Sox in the seventh and eighth innings.

The rotation survived the loss of Price and the regression of Porcello with standout performances from Pomeranz, a slow worker who didn't even average six innings a start, and retread Doug Fister, who still ended up losing two starts for every one that he won. He gets the Astros in order, 1-2-3.

Boston's ace had an incredible season, but his playoff inexperience was obvious Thursday afternoon in Houston. THE PICK: Red Sox in 4.

Being a Red Sox manager isn't easy. Alex Bregman, after the All-Star Break, hit.318 with a.367 on-base percentage and 18 doubles while hitting 19 homers on the season with 71 RBI and 88 runs scored.

"I couldn't believe any of my homers", Altuve said. The game also marked the first three-homer game in the postseason since Pablo Sandoval in 2012.

Barkley named Big Ten offensive player of the week
Albrecht added back-to-back kills for match point, and the Huskers clinched the sweep on her 19th and final kill of the night. Thanks to this Iowa win, however, Penn State could potentially split those games and still keep their playoff hopes alive.

Among the shortest players in the majors, Altuve couldn't be a bigger leader for the Astros.

Now that we've covered the best pitchers for the day, what about the bats?

According to Sports Illustrated, as dominant as Sale has been this year, he enters Game 1 looking to rebound from what has not been a great ending to the regular season, especially by his standards. The Red Sox starting pitching is much better and their lineup is much more playoff tested, so I'm going with the upset here. He gave up two runs in one, and one run in the other three. Houston is set with many All-Stars, as well as Boston.

Verlander allows a hit to Ramirez, but otherwise gets off the bump without issue. Tie ballgame at 2-2.

Mookie Betts (.803 OPS, 24 HRs, 103 RBIs, 26 SB), Andrew Benintendi (.776 OPS, 20 HRs, 90 RBIs, 20 SBs) and Xander Bogaerts (.746 OPS, 10 HRs, 62 RBIs, 15 SB) lead the Red Sox offense into action.

It started early, with Boston DH Eduardo Nunez re-injuring his right knee on the second out of the inning. After all, we won it in 2016 and we still got trounced by the Cleveland Indians in the first round, without making a whimper of resistance. If you like runs, this will be the game for you, as the Red Sox will emerge victorious in an 8-7 slugfest.

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros meet Thursday in game one of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park.

Verlander will face off against AL Cy Young candidate Chris Sale in Game 1.


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