Red Sox vs. Astros: The best player prop bets for ALCS Game 1

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Ryan Murphy

October 15th, 2021

And then there were two. After a rigorous 162 marathon, the race for the American League pennant has come down to the Boston Red Sox (92-70) and Houston Astros (95-67).

Boston punched its ticket to the ALCS by defeating the New York Yankees in a winner-take-all wild card clash, before downing the heavily favored Tampa Bay Rays in four games. It wasn’t the result that fans or sportsbooks expected, but the gritty Sox have made a habit of beating the odds all season long.

The Astros, meanwhile, rose to the top of the AL West before polishing off the Chicago White Sox in four games. Houston left little doubt about its superiority by handing Chicago a lopsided 10-1 defeat in the deciding game on Tuesday.

This is the first time these two clubs have met in the ALCS since 2018, when the underdog Red Sox upended the Astros in five games before going on to win the franchise’s ninth World Series title. Will history repeat itself again this year, or will the Astros have the last laugh?

Sat, October 16 2021, 12:07 AM

HOU Astros



Run Line



O 8

BOS Red Sox



Run Line



U 8

First pitch for Game 1 of the 2021 ALCS is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET, and we have the three best player prop bets below.

Framber Valdez Over/Under 3.5 strikeouts

The Red Sox will face a familiar foe when Framber Valdez takes the mound. The 27-year-old southpaw defeated Boston in back-to-back starts earlier this summer, both of which were eerily similar. In the first outing on June 2, Valdez surrendered five hits and struck out 10 in seven innings. His second start on June 8 played out much the same, as he scattered five hits over 7 1/3 innings while striking out eight.

Valdez likely won't stick around until the seventh inning tonight, but he should have no problem topping four strikeouts before receiving the hook. The Dominican hurler averaged 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings during the regular season and has rung up four batters or more in 18 of his last 19 starts, including a six-strikeout performance against the White Sox in the ALDS.

Pick: Over 3.5 strikeouts (-175)

Jose Altuve Over/Under 0.5 hits

We won’t blame you if you hate the Astros – most of America does. However, it’s hard not to like Jose Altuve, who continues to be one of the best pound-for-pound players in baseball. The diminutive second baseman tied his career high with 31 home runs during the regular season and added a homer, two doubles, and nine runs scored against the White Sox in the ALDS.

"Gigante" has also had his fair share of success against Boston ace Chris Sale, hitting .333 with one dinger and three RBIs in 24 career at bats. Expecting him to go yard again tonight may be unrealistic, but bettors can look certainly forward to Altuve getting on base.

Pick: Over 0.5 hits (-220)

Enrique Hernandez Over/Under 0.5 hits

There are hot streaks and then there’s whatever Enrique Hernandez is on right now. The World Series champ went supernova in the ALDS, going 8-for-12 with three doubles and two home runs over a two-game span against the Rays. "Kike" cooled off somewhat in Game 4, but his walk-off sacrifice fly was the difference-maker that helped the Sox advance.

Sure, Hernandez is only hitting .273 against Valdez lifetime, but are you really willing to bet against a guy who’s already made history twice during the 2021 postseason? Take the Over and enjoy the fireworks.

Pick: Over 0.5 hits (-215)