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Davis: Astros enter postseason ready for history

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David Ortiz to be TV postseason analyst

This time it counts. Boston opens its best-of-five ALDS at Houston on Thursday with a lot of familiar names to anyone who's hung around Haley Toyota Field for Salem Red Sox games the past few years. They need to fulfill the prophecy.

Coincidence of the night: The past two three-homer games in postseason came in games started by Justin Verlander.

The Red Sox responded to last October's disappointment by trading for ace lefty Chris Sale. However, Houston did win one of those games by a huge 10 point margin, and the cumulative score across the seven games was 35-22 to the Astros.

So far, the results have been eye-popping: 13 strikeouts, two walks, and just three hits allowed over 8.2 scoreless innings.

Now in possession of a 1-0 series lead, the Astros will attempt to double their advantage Friday when they hand the ball over to 2015 Cy Young Award victor Dallas Keuchel.

When the Boston Red Sox signed former Cy Young Award-winning pitcher David Price to a $217 million contract in late 2015, they didn't envision him as a reliever. The MLB Playoff Odds for the game have the Astros favored to pick up the win here.

So, there you have it, my thoughts on what the Red Sox ALDS rotation will look like for the rest of the series after games 1 and 2.

An MLB Network spokesman said the network is available on the following providers in the Red Sox' "home TV territory": Cablevision (Optimum), Charter Spectrum, Comcast (Xfinity), Cox, DirecTV, DirecTV Now, Dish, Frontier, Norwood Light Broadband, PlayStation Vue, RCN, and Verizon FiOS. He has made 180 major league starts but has never started a postseason game. The lone exception was catcher Christian Vazquez, and we're still only talking five home runs and a below-average.735 OPS. To get there, they first have to defeat Boston. True to his career trends, his ERA rose in August and September, and he did allow 24 home runs on the year. (Jackie) Bradley can hit homers. The first one he threw to Alex Bregman, the second hitter Sale faced, was promptly lined out of the ballpark. The Red Sox were near the bottom of the rankings with 168 homers (#27) but speed was a weapon with 106 stolen bases to rank number six. A 2-run double and a RBI single will make Bogaerts the MVP of this game.

The Red Sox bring on Rick Porcello to take over on the mound. Altuve, Correa and Springer are better players than just about every player on every other team in the majors.

"I know he gets scrutinized at times, but he really stepped up for us here down the stretch", team president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. The Astros hit a couple long balls and win 4-2. Houston won three of those four games at Fenway park, with one of those wins being a huge 12-2. The Red Sox won 93 games despite finishing last in the AL in homers, watching defending Cy Young Award victor Rick Porcello lose 17 games, missing Price for nearly the entire season, and getting giant steps back from virtually everyone on offense. That's unlikely. But the offense should hit the ball an bad lot, and it should definitely be a fun series for Astros fans to watch.

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