The Red Sox open the American League Championship Series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston Friday night. It will be the third meeting in the postseason between the teams since 2017.
Chris Sale gets the start for the Sox, with Nate Eovaldi going in Game 2 Saturday. The Astros are countering with lefty curveball specialist Framber Valdez in Game 1 and righthander Luis Garcia in Game 2.
The Red Sox changed up their bullpen alignment for their ALCS roster, adding lefthander Darwinzon Hernandez and righthander Hirokazu Sawamura.
Off the roster from the Division Series are righthander Matt Barnes and lefthander Austin Davis. The Division Series roster also included Garrett Richards, who was replaced by Barnes after the first game when Richards hurt his hamstring. Richards was ineligible for the ALCS.
The Red Sox will still have 13 pitchers, as they did in the Division Series.
The position player roster remains unchanged.
Red Sox ALCS roster
Pitchers (13): Ryan Brasier, Nate Eovaldi, Darwinzon Hernandez, Tanner Houck, Adam Ottavino, Martín Pérez, Nick Pivetta, Hansel Robles, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, Hirokazu Sawamura, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock
Catchers (2): Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez
Infielders (5): Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Travis Shaw
Outfielders (4): J.D. Martinez, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber, Alex Verdugo
Infielder/outfielders (2): Kiké Hernández, Danny Santana
The Astros will be without their best starter, Lance McCullers, after he injured his forearm in the ALDS against the White Sox.
Astros ALCS roster
Pitchers (13): Luis Garcia, Yimi García, Kendall Graveman, Zack Greinke, Cristian Javier, Phil Maton, Jake Odorizzi, Ryan Pressly, Brooks Raley, Ryne Stanek, Blake Taylor, José Urquidy, Framber Valdez
Catchers (2): Jason Castro, Martín Maldonado
Infielders (5): Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Aledmys Díaz, Yuli Gurriel
Outfielders (6): Yordan Álvarez, Michael Brantley, Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers, Jose Siri, Kyle Tucker
Game 1 lineups
RED SOX: Hernández CF, Schwarber 1B, Bogaerts SS, Devers 3B, Martinez DH, Renfroe RF, Verdugo LF, Arroyo 2B, Vázquez C.
Pitching: LHP Chris Sale (5-1, 3.16 ERA)
ASTROS: Altuve 2B, Brantley DH, Bregman 3B, Alvarez LF, Correa SS, Tucker RF, Gurriel 1B, McCormick CF, Maldonado C.
Pitching: LHP Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14 ERA)
Time: 8:07 p.m.
TV, radio: Fox, WEEI-FM 93.7
Red Sox vs. Valdez: Christian Arroyo 2-6, Xander Bogaerts 2-6, Bobby Dalbec 0-6, Rafael Devers 2-7, Kiké Hernández 3-11, J.D. Martinez 2-6, Kevin Plawecki 1-1, Hunter Renfroe 0-5, Danny Santana 0-1, Alex Verdugo 0-3, Christian Vázquez 1-6
Astros vs. Sale: Jose Altuve 8-24, Michael Brantley 8-41, Alex Bregman 1-6, Carlos Correa 4-19, Aledmys Díaz 1-3, Marwin Gonzalez 1-9, Yuli Gurriel 3-8, Martín Maldonado 2-11
Stat of the day: After missing Game 1 of the ALDS, Martinez went 7 for 15 with a homer and four RBIs in three games against Tampa Bay.
Notes: Sale did not face the Astros this season, but is 5-3 with a 2.20 ERA in nine career starts against Houston … Valdez owns a 2-1 record with a 1.59 ERA in four career appearances (two starts) against the Red Sox. He allowed two runs and struck out 18 in 14⅓ innings en route to going 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA in two starts against the Sox this season. But in his one postseason start against them, he allowed four runs on seven hits in 4⅓ innings of a no-decision in Game 2 of the ALDS.