Game 1 of the ALCS between the Red Sox and Astros begins Friday and courtesy of WEEI's Brian Barrett, here are 10 notable stats to keep an eye on during the series.
1. The Red Sox had a 29% strikeout rate against the Rays, while the Astros are the opposite. They strike out just 19.4% of the time, which is the best mark in MLB.
2. Houston clearly has an edge on defense. It posted a .713 (third) defensive efficiency during the year, while the Red Sox were .659 (30th). The league average was .695. The Red Sox also made 108 errors, good for the most in the American League, while the Astros made 71, the fewest in the AL.
3. Both teams are very good hitting with two strikes. The Astros hit .206 (first), while the Red Sox hit .186 (second).
4. Game 1 starter Framber Valdez had a 1.67 ERA from the start of the year through June 20, but a 3.61 ERA from that point to the end of the regular season. He was great against the Red Sox (two starts), allowing two earned runs in 14 1/3 innings.
5. Game 2 starter Luis Garcia was not good against the White Sox. In Game 3 of the ALDS, he allowed five earned runs, including a homer, in 2 2/3 innings of work.
6. Seven Red Sox players have hit homers in the postseason and four twice -- Kike Hernandez, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Kyle Schwarber. The only players to start a game and not homer are Hunter Renfroe, Kevin Plawecki, and Bobby Dalbec.
7. In the ALDS, Hernandez went seven straight plate appearances with a hit.
8. In eight career postseason games covering 26 innings, Chris Sale is 1-2 with a 7.27 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
9. Nathan Eovaldi did not pitch well against Houston this year. In his lone start he gave up five earned runs on 11 hits in just 5 2/3 innings.
10. Eduardo Rodriguez has a .321 opponents batting average with runners in scoring position, which is 145th of 151 starters.
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