Boston's playoff roster will have plenty of ex-Salem pieces — McFarling

Red Sox to play two day games to begin postseason

Sale has been inconsistent the past couple of months. The MLB Playoff Odds for the game have the Astros favored to pick up the win here. Eduardo Nunez and Mitch Moreland are batting.333 and.345, respectively, against the former Detroit Tigers ace. Two different paths for two different styles. Mookie Betts led the team in homers with the modest total of 24. It's going to be a grind.

We'll have it all covered, from pregame news to the final out, right here in the live blog.

If the Red Sox win: If Sale can win and go deep in the game, it's a huge bonus for Game 2, since the depth of Boston's bullpen means manager John Farrell can have a quick hook (if needed) with Game 2 starter Drew Pomeranz and not worry about burning through his relievers.

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The Indians will send Trevor Bauer to the mound, and the Yankees will counter with Sonny Gray.

Xander Bogaerts (25 years old), Jackie Bradley Jr.

Previously, he was an intern for WEEI Sports Radio Network's, "The Dale & Holley Show featuring Jerry Thornton". Just this last week, the team knocked around Rodriguez in his first start against the Astros. The MLB baseball playoffs are back, baby!

Hitting wise, the Astros yet again have the advantage. The Red Sox are trying prove there's life after David Ortiz.

Sale: 5-1 record with a 1.31 ERA while striking out 65 hitters in 48 career innings. It's basically a toss-up between two power-oriented sluggers who had so-so, inconsistent seasons. Can the Astros bring joy to the city of Houston as it recovers? "You want to face the best and he's one of the best in the game right now and so, it will be a lot of fun".

Another key figure who wasn't home-grown, Kimbrel was acquired from San Diego in November 2015 for a package of four players that included Salem alumni Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje.

Sale gets the nod in Game 1 after going 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and topping the AL with 214 1/3 innings. Of course, they'd need that to happen if they wanted to win a series.

Reed, who has settled in perfectly as the eighth-inning man, has allowed just one run in his last 14 outings. The Red Sox had a slight edge in stolen bases (106-98), but may run wild on the Astros, who ranked last in the majors in caught-stealing percentage (12 percent). Still, it's hard to bet against that Red Sox trio. Verlander has pitched stellar outings and provides a boost to the club.

The unit is also fresh.

Most of all, though, there is the hustle and spirit of this young team. Nunez, on the other hand, could be an everyday player at the very top of the Red Sox lineup. If the Red Sox do take Nunez off the roster, he would be ineligible for the American League Championship Series if the Sox were to advance. He struck out 308 hitters becoming the first American League pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1999 to finish with 300+ strikeouts.

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