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13/04/2019 3:26 am  
The 2018 ALCS matchup is set.The Houston Astros are still on track to defend their World Series title after sweeping the Cleveland Indians , while the 108-win Boston Red Sox avenged back-to-back ALDS exits by knocking off the rival New York Yankees.The team that comes out on top in this year's ALCS will likely be heavily favored in the World Series, but first, they'll need to survive what figures to be a hotly contested best-of-seven battle.Ahead is a look at the full ALCS schedule, complete with game times, TV information, updated World Series odds and a series preview.2018 ALCS ScheduleGame 1 at BOS: Saturday, October 13 (8:09 p.m. ET, TBS)Game 2 at BOS: Sunday, October 14 (7:09 p.m. ET, TBS)Game 3 at HOU: Tuesday, October 16 (5:09 p.m. ET, TBS)Game 4 at HOU: Wednesday, October 17 (8:39 p.m. ET, TBS)Game 5 at HOU: Thursday, October 18 (8:09 p.m. ET, TBS)Game 6 at BOS: Saturday Dustin Pedroia Jersey , October 20 (5:09 p.m. ET, TBS)Game 7 at BOS: Sunday, October 21 (7:39 p.m. ET, TBS) Odds to Win World SeriesAstros: +210Red Sox: +215Odds via OddsShark ALCS PreviewBillie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty ImagesThe Boston Red Sox finished the regular season with the best record in baseball, but the Houston Astros might be better built for October success.The Red Sox won 108 games on the strength of the best offense in baseball. With AL MVP candidates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez leading the way, they led the majors in batting average (.268), OPS (.792) and runs scored (876).In the opposite dugout, the Astros boasted the top pitching staff in all of baseball, leading the majors in team ERA (3.11), starters' ERA (3.16) and bullpen ERA (3.03).That's not to say either team is one-dimensional.The Red Sox finished eighth in team ERA (3.75) and the Astros finished sixth in runs scored (797), so these are well-balanced squads capable of winning in a number of different ways.Justin VerlanderTim Warner/Getty ImagesThe starters for Game 1 and Game 2 of the series have already been announced.Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52 ERA, 290 K, 214.0 IP) and Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA, 237 K Babe Ruth Jersey , 158.0 IP) will square off in the opener, while Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.88 ERA, 276 K, 200.1 IP) and David Price (16-7, 3.58 ERA, 177 K, 176.0 IP) will toe the rubber in Game 2.Verlander (5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 7 K) and Cole (7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 12 K) both pitched well in their ALDS starts, and the same can be said for Sale (5.1 IP, 5 H , 2 ER, 8 K).However, Price lasted just 1.2 innings in his ALDS outing, allowing a pair of home runs and three earned runs total before getting the hook.That said, he pitched well against the Astros back in June, allowing five hits and three earned runs over six innings to earn the win.The Astros won the season series by a slim 4-3 margin, and this series really is a coin flip. Don't be surprised if this one goes the distance and concludes in a thrilling Game 7.All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted. WASHINGTON (AP) — On a day that Jacob deGrom struck out 10 in six scoreless innings, and Max Scherzer fanned 12, it was New York Mets newcomer Robinson Cano who decided the outcome with a homer, an RBI single and head’s-up throw to the plate.Interrupting a pair of performances befitting the owners of the past three NL Cy Young Awards, Cano went deep against Scherzer in his debut at-bat for the Mets and saved a run with an unusual double play, and New York edged the Bryce Harper-less Washington Nationals 2-0 in the opener for both teams Thursday.While the Nationals’ offense clearly missed its former slugger — Harper was up I-95, playing Game 1 of his $330 million contract for the Philadelphia Phillies — Cano showed why the Mets wanted to get him from the Seattle Mariners in a December deal that also landed closer Edwin Diaz, who got the save Thursday.Cano, an eight-time All-Star Bobby Doerr Jersey , drove a changeup to left-center on Scherzer’s 13th pitch of the season. The shot quieted a sellout crowd of 42,263 on a sunny afternoon with the temperature at 56 degrees for the start.“Missed by a little bit too much over the middle,” lamented Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award recipient who was runner-up to deGrom last season. “You do that in this league, you get burned.”Cano became the first Mets player to go deep in his initial at-bat with the club since Mike Jacobs in 2005, and the 10th overall.It was his play at second base that was the talk of both clubhouses.The Nationals had runners at the corners in the third, but deGrom struck out Trea Turner, then got Anthony Rendon to hit a grounder to third. The runner there, 21-year-old rookie Victor Robles, hesitated before heading home. Cano took the throw from third for the forceout a second, then zipped the ball to the plate. Robles wound up tagged out for a 5-4-2-5 double play.“He’s probably the only guy in baseball that makes that play, and it was a no-look pass to home, to boot,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “The runner at third probably did the wrong thing — and Cano made him pay.”Robles acknowledged as much.“To be honest, I got a little confused,” Robles said through a translator. “In the middle of the moment Jimmie Foxx Jersey , I realized I had made the mistake, so I tried to kind of make up for it.”He is Washington’s man in center field, where Harper spent a lot of time a year ago, and that gaffe on the bases stood out more than Robles’ double or his diving catch. With Harper no longer in the heart of the lineup, 2018 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Juan Soto hit cleanup, and he went 0 for 3.A day after signing a $137.5 million contract, deGrom (1-0) set a major league mark with his 30th consecutive start allowing three runs or fewer. Scherzer (0-1) was charged with both of the Mets’ runs in 7 2/3 innings.They are only the second pair of starters in an opening day game to get double-figure strikeouts. The others: Dave McNally of the Orioles and Sam McDowell of the Indians in 1970.“You can all see what happens,” Washington’s Adam Eaton said, “when two Cy Young winners go head-to-head.”WAY TO GO, ROOKMets 1B Pete Alonso started in his major league debut and went 1 for 4 with a single off RHP Justin Miller in the eighth. “It was awesome. It felt like a big — not a monkey, but a gorilla hopped off my back,” Alonso said.NUMBERSJake Arrieta (2015-16) held the old multiple-season mark of 29 consecutive starts giving up three or fewer runs. … Turner stole three bases. … This was Scherzer’s 83rd career game with at least 10 Ks.UP NEXTMets: RHP Noah Syndergaard will pitch Game 2 on Saturday. He is 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in five starts at Washington.Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg is 8-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 17 starts against the Mets, his fewest against a division opponent.


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