The MLB postseason has been progressing at a rate of knots and the battle for the American League pennant is set.
In the National League, just one game split the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the regular season and now their playoff series comes down to a decider to determine who will progress to face the Atlanta Braves.
American League Championship Series
After progressing past their rival New York Yankees in the wildcard game, the Boston Red Sox fought back from a game down to win three on the bounce and see off the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
The Houston Astros also took a 3-1 victory in the division series, over the Chicago White Sox, to confirm their fifth straight appearance in the ALCS.
Both sides met in the 2018 ALCS, which Boston took in five games. The Red Sox manager Alex Cora played an infamous role in the Astros cheating scandal of their 2017 World Series win and the shadow of that is likely to linger over this series.
Houston are the fancied side, 4/6 favourites to progress to the World Series, while Boston are 13/10 to secure victory in the series.
Hitting at opportune moments was key for the Red Sox in their ALDS win as seen in their back-to-back walk offs in the final two games.
The Astros on the other hand were involved in four blowouts in their series win over the White Sox, with a five-run game the closest between the two.
The Astros took five of the seven matchups between the pair during the regular season and their experience in these games may help them come out on top of what should be an ultra-competitive series.
The Atlanta Braves have successfully made it to the NLCS after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 in the National League Division Series. They will be looking for redemption after they lost out to the Dodgers last year in a decider to make it to the World Series.
Facing them will be either the reopposing Dodgers or the surprise package of this season, the San Francisco Giants.
Given little to no chance this season, the Giants have defied all expectations and fulfilled their ageing squad’s maximum potential to take the super team Dodgers all the way.
They forced the LA side to rack up the most wins of any team not to win their division with 106 and have pushed their NLDS tie to a decider.
The Giants will be hoping to keep the score down, in both of their wins in the series they have stopped the Dodgers from scoring. However, LA’s powerhouse offense is a difficult beast to tame and the 20/21 about them to win is more than fair.
If you like an underdog story, the Giants are available at even money to beat LA one more time and progress to the NLCS.
*All odds correct at time of writing.