Game 2 of the ALCS brings us back to Boston. In this one, David Price goes for the Red Sox, and he’ll be opposed by Gerrit Cole of the Astros. Price, of course, is famous for his postseason struggles, but as noted in our ALCS preview, his playoff resume has some good in it as well. Price is coming off a rough start against the Yankees in the ALDS, but during the regular season he enjoyed a pretty nifty bounceback campaign: 3.58 ERA/122 ERA+ and a 3.54 K/BB ratio in 30 starts and 176 innings. On the downside, he’s facing the AL’s best offense against left-handed pitching. Across the way, Cole in his first season in Houston ramped up his spin rate and put together one of the best seasons of his career: 2.88 ERA/140 ERA+, 4.31 K/BB ratio 32 starts and 200 1/3 innings. As well, Cole’s 276 strikeouts this season ranked second only to teammate Justin Verlander in the AL. Much like Price, though, he’ll be tested by the opposition, as the Red Sox this season led the AL in OPS versus right-handed pitchers. ALCS Game 2: Red Sox vs. AstrosDate: Oct. 14, 2018Time: 7:09 p.m. ETLocation: Minute Maid Park in Houston, TexasTV channel: TBSStreaming: fuboTV (Try for free) Live stats: GameTrackerOdds: TBAPicks: Check SportsLine’s MLB pick sheet for all your daily odds.StorylinesAstros: Their “other” ace goes in Game 2. On most staffs, Cole would be the unquestioned No. 1, but the reigning champion Astros happen to have Verlander. Cole’s coming off complete domination of the Indians in ALDS Game 2. In that one, he struck out 12 against no walks while blanking the Tribe for seven innings. Suffice it to say, manager A.J. Hinch would love to get more of that in Game 2 of the ALCS. 

Red Sox: Is Game 2 a must-win for 108-win Red Sox? Maybe so. They’re down 1-0 in this best-of-seven affair, which means they’ve ceded home-field advantage. They’ve also burned a Chris Sale start. If they can win Game 2, then they essentially make it a best-of-five series. If they lose Game 2? Then history is strongly stacked against them. Over at WhoWins, they tell us that teams losing the first two games at home in a best-of-seven go on to win the series in question just 11.5 percent of the time. So, yeah, maybe this is a must-win for Alex Cora’s squad.Game prediction picksWhile Price’s postseason struggles have led to some simplistic narratives, the pitching matchup does seem to favor the Astros in this one, and that’s even more so the case once the bullpens take the ball. The Astros’ arms get the better of the Boston bats in Game 2.Pick: AstrosSo who wins every playoff game? And which teams are a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get MLB Playoff picks from the proven model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.  

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