MLB ALCS Betting Guide: Red Sox at Astros, Game 1

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for today.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros

Under 8.5 (-115): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros kick off the ALCS tonight. It'll be Framber Valdez going for Houston, and Chris Sale taking the ball for the Red Sox.

While Sale hasn't been vintage Sale and he went more than 90 pitches only once in nine regular-season starts, his numbers are still pretty dang good. He posted a 28.4% strikeout rate, 6.6% walk rate, and 3.44 SIERA. It speaks to Sale's greatness that the SIERA is a career-worst clip.

Sale started to ramp up the punchouts down the stretch, fanning 21 in 12 2/3 innings across his last three starts. He threw just one (not good) inning in the Divisional Round versus the Tampa Bay Rays, so he should be rested and ready to rock in a difficult matchup versus a Houston lineup that can be brutally tough.

As for Valdez, he ended 2021 with a 3.79 SIERA and 21.9% strikeout rate. Home/road splits can be wonky at times, but it's at least worth noting that Valdez was better at home (24.7% strikeout rate) than he was on the road (19.2% strikeout rate). While he surrendered four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in the Divisional Round, he was unlucky as he struck out six and had a 1.62 SIERA in that game.

Our model expects pitching to win out today. The lines are pretty sharp across the board, per our numbers, but the under is a spot where we see some value. We project Game 1 to be a 4.13-3.91 win for the Astros. That's 8.04 runs, and we give the under a 54.5% chance to hit.