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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Manager Alex Cora #13 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during batting practice prior to Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

With four days to prepare for the series, the Red Sox have all of their pitchers rested for Friday’s ALCS Game 1 against the Houston Astros. They’ll take advantage of that by having their two top starting pitchers take the mound for the first two games of the series.

Speaking with the media on Thursday afternoon, manager Alex Cora announced Chris Sale will start Game 1 for the Red Sox in Houston on Friday, followed by Nate Eovaldi in Game 2 on Saturday. The Astros announced their first two starters for the ALCS on Thursday as well. Lefty Framber Valdez will get things started, followed by righty Luis Garcia. Below is a breakdown of the first four starters in the series.

While he didn’t expand beyond those two games, Cora also said that Eduardo Rodriugez will be available out of the bullpen for Game 1. Like the Red Sox, Houston didn’t give probable starters beyond the first two games, but it was announced that Lance McCullers – who was arguably their best starting pitcher this season – will likely miss the series with forearm tightness.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.