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Red Sox at Astros lineups: To be the best, you have to beat the best

Garrett Whitlock faces his stiffest challenge as the Sox face the first-place Astros for the first time since the ALCS.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Atlanta Braves
A bright spot!
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox begin a series against the Astros for the first time since October, and it’s fair to say things are a bit different than they were in the ALCS, what with the Sox in last place and all. The good news? Garrett Whitlock gets the start, which gives Boston a fighting chance against Houston’s Jake Odorizzi (7:10 p.m., NESN, MLBN out-of-market).

On the face of it, this series portends disaster for Boston, who enter the game in fifth place with a 13-21 record, compared to Houston’s 23-12 mark, which puts them atop the AL West. But you can’t predict baseball, and you never know when everything is going to turn around. It could even be during a road series against the defending American League champs!

All that said... ugh. At least the Celtics won! I don’t see the Rockets making plans for the conference finals. I do see a terrifying Astros lineup that features Yordan Álvarez at DH batting cleanup and Kyle Tucker batting sixth, which is preposterous. This in addition to the José Altuve/Michael Brantley/Alex Bregman top three, which is wild. Of course... the best news here at Over the Monster is that Mauricio Dubon is starting at shortstop and batting ninth. If you know, you know.

Game 35 at Astros

Lineup spot Red Sox Astros
Lineup spot Red Sox Astros
1 Enrique Hernández, CF José Altuve, 2B
2 Rafael Devers, 3B Michael Brantley, LF
3 J.D. Martinez, DH Alex Bregman, 3B
4 Xander Bogaerts, SS Yordan Álvarez, DH
5 Alex Verdugo, LF Yuli Gurriel, 1B
6 Trevor Story, 2B Kyle Tucker, RF
7 Franchy Cordero, 1B Chas McCormick, CF
8 Christian Vázquez, C Jason Castro, C
9 Jackie Bradley Jr., RF Mauricio Dubon, SS
SP Garrett Whitlock, RHP Jake Odorizzi, RHP