Chris Sale headlines a Red Sox pitching staff that has dominated all season.
The Red Sox have set their roster for Thursday's American League Division Series matchup against the Houston Astros. The best-of-five series starts on Thursday afternoon, with Chris Sale facing Justin Verlander on the mound. First pitch is set for 4:08 p.m. ET.
Boston finished the 2017 regular season with a 93-69 record and won the American League East for the second straight year. The Red Sox boasted the fourth-best team earned run average at 3.70, riding Cy Young candidates Sale and Drew Pomeranz to the playoffs. The offense, however, stumbled throughout the season as the Sox were among the bottom five teams in home runs and slugging percentage.
Manager John Farrell has repeatedly told media personnel he wanted to carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players and appears to have kept true to his word. The most glaring omission from Farrell's roster is outfielder Chris Young, who was used as a pinch hitter against left-handed pitching during the season. Young, however, has not hit well this year and does not bring the speed that fellow outfield Rajai Davis does, so it was expected to see him ride the bench during this series.
Boston released its roster shortly before 12 p.m.
Projected Game 1 Lineup
• Xander Bogaerts - SS
• Dustin Pedroia - 2B
• Andrew Benintendi - LF
• Mookie Betts - RF
• Mitch Moreland - 1B
• Hanley Ramirez - DH
• Rafael Devers - 3B
• Sandy Leon - C
• Jackie Bradley Jr. - CF
The full Red Sox roster for the series is below.
Chris Sale (Game 1 starter), Drew Pomeranz (Game 2 starter), Doug Fister, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello, Craig Kimbrel, Addison Reed, Joe Kelly, David Price, Carson Smith, Austin Maddox
Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon
Mitch Moreland, Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, Deven Marrero, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers
Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Rajai Davis