The Boston Red Sox, coming off their second consecutive American League East Division pennant, face the Houston Astros on Thursday in the opening game of the first AL Division Series — a matchup that will live stream from Houston and feature what at least on paper looks like a pitching duel that could go down as one of the most exciting in postseason history.
The Red Sox, who won 93 games — eight fewer than the West-winning Astros who topped 100 wins for the second time in their 56-year history — will send ace lefty Chris Sale and his Major League-leading 308 strikeouts to the hill Thursday afternoon. Sale’s 2.90 ERA was good enough for second in the American League behind the Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber (2.25).
Sale also led the Majors in Fielding Independent Pitching, a stat that measures ERA assuming that each pitcher has exactly the same results except for home runs allowed, strikeouts, walks and hit batsmen — results that pitchers can control, unlike results that involve team defense. Sale registered a 2.45 FIP, slightly better than Kluber’s 2.50.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros ALDS Game One, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Central Daylight Time at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, October 5. In the Eastern time zone that start will be 4 p.m., while out west the game gets underway at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
Watch a preview of the Red Sox vs. Astros ALDS series in the video below.
The Astros counter the 28-year-old Red Sox ace with their most recent acquisition, 34-year-old 13-year veteran Justin Verlander, a former Cy Young winner who until August 31 of this season — the last moments before the waiver trading deadline — played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers.
But after a sluggish first five months of the 2017 season with Detroit, Verlander seemed revitalized by the trade to Houston, appearing in and starting five games, recording wins in all five and allowing a mere four earned runs in that span, striking out 43 in his 34 Astros innings pitched, while walking just five.
The Red Sox won back-to-back division titles for the first time since divisional play started in 1969, but Boston has also won three World Series titles in the 21st century, in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Astros have never won a World Series, appearing in only one, in 2005 when they were swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox.
Can the Boston Red Sox get off to a winning start in the ALDS this time around after suffering a sweep against Cleveland in the 2016 postseason? Or will the Houston Astros begin their quest to reach only their fifth League Championship series since division play started in 1969 with a home victory? To find out, watch the Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros ALDS opener from 41,700-seat Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, with streaming video provided by MLB Network at this link. A cable login credential will be required. MLB Network can also be viewed on mobile devices using the MLB At Bat app.
Fans without cable login credentials can watch the Red Sox vs. Astros game legally and for free on PlayStation Vue, by signing up for a seven-day free trial of the online multi-channel service which includes MLB Network and which carries the first ALDS Boston-Houston game. The PlayStation Vue plan can be accessed at this link, and can also be viewed on mobile devices by downloading the PlayStation Vue app — as well as on set-top streaming devices such as the Roku, Amazon Fire TV and 4th Generation Apple TV.
Another alternative to watch the ALDS opener without cable would be the MLB Postseason.TV package, which is available for a subscription price of $4.99 by visiting this link. Postseason.TV does not include the same feed as the live Fox Sports Go stream, but instead features four camera angles on the game in a composite screen.
Outside of the United States, fans who subscribe to the MLB.TV package can watch a live stream of Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros without blackout restrictions at this link, or on most mobile and set-top streaming devices.
[Featured Image By Bob Levey/Getty Images]