The Red Sox have home field advantage for this best-of-seven series but the Astros had a major league-best 57-24 road record this season. There were 11 hits given up, two of them home runs, and opponents hit.183 against them.
"I think he just feeds off the crowd and he just feels more comfortable at home", Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. This Houston pitching staff had 30 strikeouts and allowed 13 hits in the division series against the Indians.
"Going through that the last two years helped", Brock Holt.
"Our guys know we can win and we can beat you in a lot of different ways".
Now he has to do it again - against his former boss, A.J. Hinch, whose Astros swept Cleveland in the ALDS. Just 'cause you know I'm so nervous. "Obviously, the victor of this one goes to the World Series. Hopefully he keeps getting better and he'll be ready to go on Saturday".
Well, as the Astros move to the next stop in their defence of the thrilling seven-game win over the Dodgers last fall, they are in the main event now. Red Sox players - including a couple that were Cora's teammates when he was with the team from 2005-08 - praised the relatability of their 42-year-old manager after five years with the more traditional and distant John Farrell. For the host Astros, ace Justin Verlander gets the nod.
The obvious choice to get the ball for Saturday's Game 1, Verlander thrived on the opportunity and the challenge for the first World Series title of his long career. "And then I just - after that it was I thank God, gave me another opportunity and put me in a good situation with Detroit", Martinez said.
The Astros have been established as minus-145 favourites in the ALCS (bet $145 to profit $100) making Boston the winningest regular-season team to enter a playoff series as the underdog.
What does a 108-win regular season get you in the world of baseball betting? Four inherited runners were stranded in Game 2, the only other game Sox relievers had inherited runners. The Game 2 matchup on Sunday features two pitchers drafted first over all: Boston's David Price (taken by Tampa Bay in 2007) and Houston's Gerrit Cole (taken by Pittsburgh in 2011). "He's feeling better", Cora said.
"The Red Sox had his pitches", one unidentified Yankee source told Major League Baseball insider Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports. The Red Sox would be inclined to carry a 12th pitcher if Moreland misses out, with Bobby Poyner, Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez and Drew Pomeranz all remaining here.
"They're strong at every spot, they've got a great starting rotation, their bullpen's good, they score runs, they're good defensively - very similar to our club", Dombrowski said.