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2021 American League Divisional Series Betting Previews, Odds and Picks

Expert analysis on how to bet the 2021 American League Divisional Series.

After the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 6-2 in the AL wild-card game on Tuesday night, the four playoff teams in the American League became set. Boston earned a trip to Tampa Bay to face the Rays while the Houston Astros will host the Chicago White Sox. Sports bettors can look to focus their bankrolls on both American League Divisional Series (ALDS). SI Betting is here to break down the two matchups which will commence on Thursday.

Eligibility restrictions apply. See SI Sportsbook for details

Eligibility restrictions apply. See SI Sportsbook for details

Chicago White Sox (+110) vs. Houston Astros (-130)

ALDS Series Schedule

  • Game 1: Thursday, October 7, 4:07 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Game 2: Friday, October 8, 2:07 p.m. ET, MLB Network
  • Game 3: Sunday, October 10, 8:07 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Game 4: Monday, October 11, TBD, FS1 (if necessary)
  • Game 5: Wednesday, October 13, TBD, FS1 (if necessary)
Tim Anderson's teammates celebrate as he crosses home plate

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Regular Season Record: 93-69

POSSIBLE STARTERS

  • Carlos Rodon (13-5, 2.37 ERA)
  • Lance Lynn (11-6, 2.69 ERA)
  • Lucas Giolito (11-9, 3.53 ERA)
  • Dylan Cease (13-7, 3.91 ERA)

PITCHING TRENDS

D. Cease (R): LAST 7 starts: 4-1; 3.34; 1.23 WHIP

C. Rodon (L): LAST 7 starts: 5-1; 2.81 ERA; 1.06 WHIP

L. Giolito (R): LAST 7 starts: 2-0; 2.39; 0.98 WHIP

L. Lynn (R): LAST 7 starts: 1-3; 4.10; 1.13 WHIP

KEY HITTERS

  • Jose Abreu, 1B (30 HR, 117 RBI)
  • Yasmani Grandal, C (23 HR, 62 RBI)
  • Tim Anderson, SS (.309 BA, 94 Runs, 18 SB)
  • Yoan Moncada, 3B (14 HR, 61 RBI)
  • Luis Robert, CF (.338 BA, 13, 43 RBI in only 68 games*)
Aug 21, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez (44, right) is congratulated by Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1, left) after hitting a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Minute Maid Park.

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HOUSTON ASTROS

2021 Regular Season Record: 95-67

POSSIBLE STARTERS

  • Lance McCullers (13-5, 3.16 ERA)
  • Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14 ERA)
  • Luis Garcia (11-8, 3.80 ERA)
  • Jose Urquidy (8-3, 3.62 ERA)
  • Zack Greinke (11-6, 4.16 ERA)

PITCHING TRENDS

L. McCullers (R): LAST 7 starts: 3-1; 3.02 ERA; 1.15 WHIP

F. Valdez (L): LAST 7 starts: 3-2; 3.09 ERA; 1.10 WHIP

L. Garcia (R): LAST 7 starts: 2-2; 3.03 ERA; 1.34 WHIP

J. Urquidy (R): LAST 7 starts: 2-0; 4.35 ERA; 1.06 WHIP

Z. Greinke (R): LAST 7 starts: 1-3; 6.03 ERA; 1.19 WHIP

KEY HITTERS

  • Jose Altuve, 2B (31 HR, 83 RBI, 117 Runs)
  • Carlos Correa, SS (26 HR, 92 RBI, 104 Runs)
  • Yuli Gurriel, 1B (.319 BA, 15 HR, 81 RBI
  • Kyle Tucker, RF (30 HR, 92 RBI. 14 SB)
  • Yordan Alvarez, DH (33 HR, 104 RBI)

The White Sox and Astros will meet in perhaps the most evenly matched series in the postseason. 

Chicago will be looking for its first postseason series win since 2005, when they won the World Series. Houston, a postseason staple of late, earns a spot for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. The Astros lost in the ALCS to the Tampa Bay Rays last year and will be looking to make a return to the World Series for the third time in five years. Houston lost to the Nationals in 2019 in the World Series but won it all in 2017 defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Houston, which won five of seven games against the White Sox this season, is the second overall betting choice (+210) at SI Sportsbook to capture the American League Pennant — behind only Tampa Bay (+190). The keys to this series will be Lance McCullers and the Astros' experience, having won nine of the past 13 playoff series they have taken part in. In addition, the potential injury concern surrounding Carlos Rondon (shoulder) is a tremendous detriment for Chicago. If Rodon is not fully healthy in a five-game series, I expect it to be the difference in a close matchup.

BET: Houston Astros (-130)

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox (+125) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (-145)

ALDS Series Schedule

  • Game 1: Thursday, October 7, 8:07 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Game 2: Friday, October 8, 7:02 p.m. ET, FS1
  • Game 3: Sunday, October 10, 4:07 p.m. ET, MLB Network
  • Game 4: Monday, October 11, Time TBD, FS1 or MLB Network (if necessary)
  • Game 5: Wednesday, October 13, Time TBD, FS1 (if necessary)

BOSTON RED SOX

Regular Season Record: 92-70

POSSIBLE STARTERS

  • Eduardo Rodriguez (13-8, 4.74 ERA)
  • Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA)
  • Nick Pivetta (9-8, 4.53 ERA)
  • Chris Sale (5-1, 3.16 ERA)

PITCHING TRENDS

E. Rodriguez (L): LAST 7 starts: 3-1; 3.19 ERA; 1.39 WHIP

N. Eovaldi (R): LAST 7 starts: 1-1; 3.86 ERA; 1.26 WHIP

N. Pivetta (R): LAST 7 starts: 0-2; 4.97 ERA; 1.38 WHIP

C. Sale (L): LAST 7 starts: 3-1; 3.28 ERA; 1.38 WHIP

KEY HITTERS

  • Rafael Devers, 3B (38 HR, 113 RBI, 101 Runs)
  • Hunter Renfroe, RF (31 HR, 96 RBI)
  • J.D. Martinez, DH (28 HR, 99 RBI)
  • Bobby Dalbec, 1B (25 HR, 78 RBI)
  • Xander Bogaerts, SS (23 HR, 79 RBI)
Sep 22, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher David Robertson (30) and Tampa Bay Rays catcher Francisco Mejia (28) celebrate as they beat the Toronto Blue Jays to clinch a playoff spot at Tropicana Field.

TAMPA BAY RAYS

2021 Regular Season Record: 101-62

POSSIBLE STARTERS

  • Shane McClanahan (10-6, 3.43 ERA)
  • Shane Baz (2-0, 2.03 ERA)
  • Drew Rasmussen (4-0, 2.44 ERA)

PITCHING TRENDS

S. McClanahan (L): LAST 7 starts: 3-2; 2.65 ERA; 1.24 WHIP

D. Rasmussen (R): LAST 7 starts: 3-0; 1.36 ERA; 0.76 WHIP

S. Baz (R): LAST 2 starts: 2-0; 2.03 ERA; 0.68 WHIP

KEY HITTERS

  • Brandon Lowe, 2B (39 HR, 99 RBI, 97 Runs)
  • Mike Zunino, C (33 HR, 62 RBI)
  • Austin Meadows, LF (27 HR, 106 RBI
  • Randy Arozarena, RF (20 HR, 69 RBI, 20 SB, 94 Runs)
  • Yordan Alvarez, DH (33 HR, 104 RBI)

After beating the Yankees in the AL wild-card game, Boston will now be on its way for a showdown with Tampa Bay. On Tuesday, it was learned that the Rays will be throwing their youngest arms in their postseason starting rotation. Rookie Shane McClanahan will take to the bump in Game 1, while the club’s prize prospect Shane Baz will be handed the ball in Game 2. McClanahan has earned the trust of the Rays after becoming the most consistent starter on the staff following the season-ending injury to Tyler Glasnow in June. Tampa Bay, which led the American League in wins (100) and run differential (+206) in the regular season, will now face its AL East foe who they have already beaten 11 times in 19 games. In fact, Tampa Bay has dominated Boston, going 11-4 in the final 15 regular season matchups. The Rays, despite the inexperience in their rotation, are perhaps the most complete team in the playoffs. Lay the juice.

BET: Tampa Bay (-145)

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Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.

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