Red Sox vs. Astros odds: 2018 ALCS picks, predictions from advanced computer model

The 2018 American League Championship Series will open Saturday night. The Boston Red Sox will play host to the Houston Astros at 8:09 p.m. ET from Fenway Park. The Red Sox won two games at New York to eliminate the rival Yankees 3-1 in the American League Divisional Series to advance, while the Astros made short work of the Indians in a three-game sweep. 

The defending World Series champion Astros are favored in the best-of-7 ALCS at -140 on the moneyline in the latest 2018 ALCS odds. That means it would take a $140 wager on Houston to win $100. The Red Sox are +120 (risk $100 to win $120).

Before you make any 2018 ALCS picks, you need to hear what SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh has to say. A co-founder of AccuScore, Oh specializes in sports simulations, projections and statistical analysis. His advanced computer model has been used to power projections at the three largest fantasy sports sites.

Now Oh's model has simulated the entire ALCS 10,000 times -- every conceivable pitch, at-bat and inning. He's sharing the results only over at SportsLine. 

The model knows Game 1 features a marquee pitching matchup as Boston goes with Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA) against Houston's Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52). 

For the series opener, the computer model has Sale going 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits with eight strikeouts. Verlander lasts 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits with seven K's. Each team is likely going to have to string together key hits to score runs.

Red Sox star Mookie Betts averages a hit with a run scored in the simulations, with J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts knocking in runs. For the Astros, Tyler White has a big day with a hit and RBI, with George Springer and Jose Altuve producing at the plate as well. 

One thing we can tell you about the series outcome: Oh's model projects a 32.2 percent chance the series goes all seven games, the most likely length. There's a 30.6 percent chance it ends in six. Regardless, the model sees a strong value in one of these teams. Is it with the surging Astros or the Red Sox, the top team in the regular season?

So who wins this best-of-7 series between the Astros and Red Sox? Visit SportsLine now to see which team is heading to the World Series and see whether the Astros or Red Sox is the better value on the money line, all from the proven computer model that powered all three major fantasy sites, and find out.

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