Previewing Astros-Red Sox ALDS: It's Astros in 4

Houston vs. Boston

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Game 1: Thursday, 1 p.m. PDT

Boston (Chris Sale, 17-8, 2.90)

at Houston (Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36)

Game 2: Friday, 11 a.m.

Boston (Drew Pomeranz, 17-6, 3.32)

at Houston (Dallas Keuche, 14-5, 2.90)

Game 3: Sunday, TBD

Houston (Brad Peacock, 13-2, 3.00)

at Boston (Rick Porcello, 11-17, 4.65)

Game 4: Oct. 9, TBD*

Houston (TBA) at Boston (TBA)

Game 5: Oct. 11, TBD*

Boston (TBA) at Houston (TBA)

*-if necessary | All times PDT

TV: All games on FS1 or MLB Network.

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Projected lineups

P; HOUSTON; AVG.; HR; RBI;

CF; George Springer; .283; 34; 85

RF; Josh Reddick; .314; 13; 82

2B; Jose Altuve; .346; 24; 81

SS; Carlos Correa; .315; 24; 84

LF; Marwin Gonzalez; .303; 23; 90

3B; Alex Bregman; .284; 19; 71

1B; Yuli Gurriel; .299; 18; 75

DH; Carlos Beltran; .231; 14; 51

C; Brian McCann; .241; 18; 62

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P; BOSTON; AVG.; HR; RBI

SS; Xander Bogaerts; .273; 10; 62

2B; Dustin Pedroia; .293; 7; 62

LF; Andrew Benintendi; .271; 20; 90

RF; Mookie Betts; .264; 24; 102

1B; Mitch Moreland; .246; 22; 79

DH; Hanley Ramirez; .242; 23; 62

3B; Rafael Devers; .284; 10; 30

C; Christian Vazquez; .290; 5; 32

CF; Jackie Bradley Jr.; .245; 17; 63

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Keys to the series

These teams finished the regular season playing each other, with the Astros taking three of four in Boston. Their offense overpowered the Red Sox in Game 1 and their pitchers allowed only 13 runs in the series. There’s no reason to expect any different a week later. Houston has few flaws, its lineup filled with elite hitters, its rotation overflowing with options. With David Price relegated to the bullpen, the Red Sox don’t have enough elite pitching to form a viable playoff rotation. They’re considering starting Doug Fister, whom they claimed off waivers from the Angels in June. Craig Kimbrel gives Boston baseball’s best closer, but he can’t create leads. Pick: Astros in four.

—Pedro Moura

pedro.moura@latimes.com

Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter @pedromoura

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