BOSTON (CBS) – Buckle up. It will once again be the Red Sox and the Astros fighting for a trip to the World Series.
Houston won its ALDS series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, and will now face the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. It was a rematch of the 2018 ALCS, which Boston won in five games.
It will bring down fellow Red Sox Alex Cora against his former team, the same team that put all the blame in their 2017 cheating scandal on their former coach on the bench. It should provide lots of storylines and juicy quotes throughout the series of the best seven, which takes place Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
Games 1 and 2 of the series will take place in Houston, before moving to Fenway Park next week for Games 3, 4 and 5. Games 6 and 7 will return to Houston, as needed.
The Red Sox won just two of seven games against the Astros in the regular season, surpassing 42-25 in two series.
The Sox lost three of four to the Astros in Houston to close out May and start June. The Astros beat the Red Sox 16-3 in the first two games, and lost to Boston in the third game, 2-1, with their only run coming from a base with a walk in the first inning. Boston avoided a four-game sweep with a 5-1 win in the finale, thanks to a three-run homer by Christian Arroyo in the second inning and a two-run double by Xander Bogaerts in the seventh.
The Astros took two of the three when the two teams met in Boston a week later. The Astros won the opening 11-2 to capture a five-game win for the Red Sox. The Astros recorded three runs in the seventh inning of the middle game to walk away with a 5-1 victory.
The Red Sox won wildly in the series final, avoiding the broom to a 12-8 victory. After Houston led 7-4 in the fifth, Arroyo tied it with a three-run run under the frame. Jose Altuve hit a solo homer for the Astros in the sixth, but Boston responded with a five-run inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Bobby Dalbec.
The Astros offense went to Boston’s pitching staff, who cut .300 / .386 / .498 with nine homers and 19 doubles in their seven regular matchups during the season. The Red Sox hit just .210 against Houston, with just 20 extra hits at base (15 doubles, five homers) in the regular season.
After a 95-67 regular season and a crown in the AL West, the Astros ousted the White Sox in four games in the ALDS. The Red Sox had to go the Wild Card route, beating the Yankees in the play-in game before sending the 100-win to the Tampa Bay Rays in four games in their Divisional series game.
This will be the third postseason game of all time between the Red Sox and the Astros. Houston easily beat Boston in four ALDS games in 2017, heading towards their controversial World Series victory. Boston retaliated the following year with ALCS.
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The two rivals will meet again, and play again for the American League penalty.