Keys to Astros-Red Sox ALCS Game 2

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 13: Carlos Correa #1 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrate their team's win as Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox walks off the field in Game One of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on October 13, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Astros defeated the Red Sox 7-2. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Without homefield advantage for their American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, the Houston Astros knew they could not advance unless they won at least one game in Boston. 

They took care of that with their 7-2 game 1 win on Saturday night, behind six strong innings from Justin Verlander.

Verlander won for the fifth time in seven postseason starts with the Astros after allowing just two runs on two hits in his six innings. 

Both runs he allowed scored in the sixth inning when he walked in a run, and then had a wild pitch which allowed the second run to come home.

That second run tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning, but the Astros took the lead back in the top of the sixth inning on a Carlos Correa RBI single.

Houston will send Gerrit Cole to the mound in game with plans on taking both games in Boston before returning home for games three, four, and, if necessary, game five.

Here are the Astros' keys to winning game 2:

Score first 

The Astros already have the Red Sox on their heels after taking homefield advantage away from them and getting the win on the night their ace, Chris Sale, got the ball. Boston may start pressing if the Astros can take the early lead.

Work the count

It should be no different than what they did in game 1, when Sale used 86 pitches to get through four innings. Houston took 10 walks in their game one win. Boston pitchers threw 188 pitches to record 27 outs. The Astros needed just 137. The Red Sox bullpen came into the series as the most clear disadvantage in this matchup. In game one, the Sox ‘pen issued six walks, hit two batters and allowed five runs in five innings of work.

The Price is right for Houston

After beating the Red Sox top lefty, the Astros get the Red Sox next best lefty, David Price. Price is a former Cy Young award winner with two ERA titles on his resume. But he’s been a disaster as a postseason starter. He’s made 10 postseason starts in his career, his team has lost all 10 of  those games. He’s been atrocious, posting an 0-9 record with 6.07 ERA.