The 2018 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven series pitting the defending World Series champion Houston Astros against the Boston Red Sox, for the American League (AL) pennant and the right to play in the 2018 World Series. The series was played in a 2-3-2 format, with the first two and last two (if necessary) games played at the home ballpark of the higher seeded team. The series was the 49th in league history, with TBS televising all games in the United States. The Red Sox defeated the Astros, in five games.
For the second year in a row, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; as with the NLCS, this ALCS was sponsored by Google Assistant and was officially known as the American League Championship Series presented by Google Assistant.
|2018 American League Championship Series|
|MVP||Jackie Bradley Jr. (Boston)|
|Umpires||Vic Carapazza, Mark Carlson, Chris Guccione, James Hoye (Games 1–2), Bill Miller (Games 3–5), Mark Wegner, Joe West (crew chief)|
|TV announcers||Brian Anderson, Ron Darling, and Lauren Shehadi|
|Radio announcers||Jon Sciambi and Jessica Mendoza|
The Astros won the American League West division with a record of 103–59, then swept the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series. This was the Astros' sixth League Championship Series and second in the American League, their prior AL appearance being a 2017 ALCS win over the New York Yankees in seven games. Houston also appeared in four NLCS, winning once and losing thrice, before joining the American League in 2013.
The Red Sox won the American League East division with a record of 108–54, then defeated the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, 3–1. This was Boston's 11th ALCS. They had a prior record of 5–5, most recently winning in 2013 and most recently losing in 2008.
The 2018 ALCS was just the 12th postseason match-up to feature two teams with 100 wins, though the third since the 2017 World Series. The 211 combined regular season wins for both teams was the second-most of any postseason series ever, just behind the 1998 World Series. It was also the first ALCS to feature two 100-win teams since 1977, when the New York Yankees (100–62) defeated the Kansas City Royals (102–60).
Boston and Houston had met once before in the postseason, with the Astros winning the 2017 ALDS, 3–1; that year Alex Cora was Houston's bench coach before becoming manager of Boston for the upcoming season. Houston was 4–3 in their seven games against Boston during the 2018 regular season.
|Stat||Boston (MLB rank)||Houston (MLB rank)||Type|
|Batting average||.268 (1st)||.255 (7th)||Batting|
|OPS||.792 (1st)||.754 (7th)|
|Home runs||208 (9th)||205 (10th)|
|ERA||3.75 (8th)||3.11 (1st)||Pitching|
|Strikeouts||1,558 (4th)||1,687 (1st)|
|BAA||.237 (8th)||.217 (1st)|
Boston won the series, 4–1.
|1||October 13||Houston Astros – 7, Boston Red Sox – 2||Fenway Park||4:03||38,007|
|2||October 14||Houston Astros – 5, Boston Red Sox – 7||Fenway Park||3:45||37,960|
|3||October 16||Boston Red Sox – 8, Houston Astros – 2||Minute Maid Park||3:52||43,102|
|4||October 17||Boston Red Sox – 8, Houston Astros – 6||Minute Maid Park||4:33||43,277|
|5||October 18||Boston Red Sox – 4, Houston Astros – 1||Minute Maid Park||3:32||43,210|
|WP: Justin Verlander (1–0) LP: Joe Kelly (0–1)|
HOU: Josh Reddick (1), Yuli Gurriel (1)
Three time All-Star and two time World Series Champion Kevin Youkilis threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Red Sox. The Astros struck first on a George Springer two-run single in the top of the second off of an erratic Chris Sale, eventually ending Sale's night after four innings. Verlander cruised through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth, walking Mitch Moreland with the bases loaded and allowing Jackie Bradley Jr. to score on a wild pitch to even the score at two. Verlander struck out Andrew Benintendi on a controversial called strike that resulted in Red Sox manager Alex Cora getting ejected in between innings. The Astros responded in the top of the sixth with a two-out RBI single by Carlos Correa after Joe Kelly hit Alex Bregman with a pitch and Yuli Gurriel reached on a fielding error by Eduardo Núñez. Verlander came back to retire the side in order in the sixth. The Astros and Red Sox would trade zeroes until the top of the ninth inning which was led off by a Josh Reddick home run off of Brandon Workman. Workman then, after getting an out, walked José Altuve and Alex Bregman before Yuli Gurriel hit a three-run home run to blow the game open at 7–2. The Red Sox ended the night having walked 10 Astros hitters and hitting three more. Collin McHugh came in to finish the game off and give the Astros a loud 1–0 lead in the series.
|WP: Matt Barnes (1–0) LP: Gerrit Cole (0–1) Sv: Craig Kimbrel (1)|
HOU: Marwin González (1)
Jonny Gomes, a member of the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox, threw the ceremonial first pitch. Mookie Betts doubled off Gerrit Cole and Andrew Benintendi singled him home to open the scoring for the Red Sox. Xander Bogaerts reached second on Cole's throwing error with one out in the first, then Rafael Devers singled home Benintendi for a 2–0 lead. Starting pitcher David Price allowed the Astros to get on the board in the second as Carlos Correa hit an infield single and Martín Maldonado doubled, with George Springer doubling them both home to tie it. An inning later, Yuli Gurriel singled and an out later, Marwin González homered over the Green Monster for a 4–2 lead. But the Red Sox struck back in the bottom of the inning. Bogaerts singled, Steve Pearce doubled and Devers walked to load the bases. One out later, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a bases-clearing double to give the Red Sox a 5–4 lead, which they would never relinquish. Price would fall an out shy of being credited the victory, allowing four runs, five hits, and four walks. Matt Barnes relieved him in the fifth with two outs and retired the next four batters for the victory. In the seventh, after Betts walked, Lance McCullers Jr. threw a wild pitch, advancing Betts to second, then to third on a Maldonado passed ball. One out later, another Maldonado passed ball scored Betts to make it 6–4. The next inning saw Devers single to center; two outs later, Mitch Moreland singled, and A.J. Hinch immediately sent out Héctor Rondón to face Betts, who doubled to center, scoring Devers to extend their lead to three runs. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth, allowing a two-out double by Springer and a José Altuve RBI single to bring the Astros to within 7–5. Kimbrel then retired Alex Bregman, who flew out to Benintendi to end the game, earning his third save this postseason, and tying the series at one all.
|WP: Nathan Eovaldi (1–0) LP: Joe Smith (0–1)|
BOS: Steve Pearce (1), Jackie Bradley Jr. (1)
Former Astros All-Star player Lance Berkman threw the ceremonial first pitch. Dallas Keuchel was Houston's starting pitcher, while Nathan Eovaldi started for Boston. The Red Sox jumped out to an early 2–0 lead in the top of the first inning, on two singles, a double, and an RBI ground out. The Astros responded in the bottom of the inning with a run on three singles, trimming Boston's lead to 2–1. Houston tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, as José Altuve worked a two-out walk and Alex Bregman drove him in with a double under the glove of Boston third baseman Rafael Devers. In the top of the sixth, Houston reliever Joe Smith took over from Keuchel, who had allowed two runs on four hits in five innings pitched. Smith allowed a home run to Steve Pearce, putting Boston back in the lead, 3–2, which they would never relinquish. In the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Brasier relieved Red Sox starter Eovaldi, who had allowed two runs on six hits in six innings pitched. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Boston had the bases loaded when pinch hitter Mitch Moreland was hit by a pitch from Roberto Osuna, forcing in a run. Jackie Bradley Jr. then hit a grand slam off of Osuna, putting Boston ahead, 8–2. The game ended without further scoring, George Springer striking out to end it. Eovaldi got the win for Boston, while Smith took the loss for Houston.
|WP: Joe Kelly (1–1) LP: Josh James (0–1) Sv: Craig Kimbrel (2)|
BOS: Jackie Bradley Jr. (2)
HOU: George Springer (1), Tony Kemp (1)
Former Astros player Chris Burke, who hit a series-winning home run in the 2005 NLDS, threw the ceremonial first pitch. Charlie Morton started for Houston, his first postseason appearance this year. Boston scored two runs in the first inning, on a hit by pitch, walk, wild pitch, and a two-out RBI single by Rafael Devers. Rick Porcello started for Boston, his second start and fourth appearance of this postseason. In the bottom of the first, a deep drive and potential two-run homer to right field by José Altuve, which Mookie Betts nearly caught with a leaping grab at the wall, was ruled an out due to fan interference in a blown call by right field umpire Joe West. Houston got a run back in the bottom of the second, when Josh Reddick led off with a double, and scored on a single by Carlos Correa. In the top of the third, Andrew Benintendi hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a double by Xander Bogaerts, giving the Red Sox a 3–1 lead. Josh James relieved Morton during the third, Morton having allowed three runs on three hits in 2 1⁄3 innings pitched. A George Springer home run to open the bottom of the third cut the lead to 3–2. Altuve then doubled, and was later driven in on a single by Reddick, evening the score, 3–3. A homer by Tony Kemp in the bottom of the fourth put the Astros ahead, 4–3. In the top of the fifth, Benintendi again doubled and was driven in by Bogaerts, tying the game at four all. Porcello, who had allowed four runs on seven hits, was relieved by Joe Kelly for the bottom of the fifth; Yuli Gurriel singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Correa, putting the Astros back ahead, 5–4. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth, giving the Red Sox a 6–5 lead, which they would not relinquish. In the seventh, Boston added a run on a single and three walks. An inning later, Betts singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by J. D. Martinez, increasing Boston's lead to 8–5. In the bottom of the eighth, Alex Bregman was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a Springer double, and scored on a ground out by Altuve, trimming Boston's lead to 8–6. Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel allowed three walks in the bottom of the ninth to load the bases, but got the final out on Benintendi's diving catch off a Bregman liner to left, for his fourth save this postseason.
At four hours and thirty-three minutes, this was the second-longest nine-inning postseason game in MLB history; 2017 NLDS Game 5 between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals was four minutes longer.
|WP: David Price (1–0) LP: Justin Verlander (1–1) Sv: Craig Kimbrel (3)|
BOS: J. D. Martinez (1), Rafael Devers (1)
HOU: Marwin González (2)
Former Astros All-Star player Jeff Kent threw the ceremonial first pitch. Justin Verlander, Game 1 winning pitcher, started for Houston, while David Price, who got a no decision in Game 2, started for Boston. Chris Sale did not start for Boston due to the effects of being ill after Game 1. Boston took a 1–0 lead in the top of the third inning on a home run by J. D. Martinez, which they would not relinquish. In the top of the sixth, Mitch Moreland doubled, Ian Kinsler singled, and Rafael Devers homered into the Crawford Boxes, putting Boston ahead, 4–0. Houston reliever Roberto Osuna entered to pitch the top of the seventh, replacing Verlander who had allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings pitched, while striking out four and walking two. Boston's Matt Barnes entered to pitch the bottom of the seventh, replacing Price who had allowed no runs on three hits in six innings pitched, while striking out nine and walking none. Marwin González hit a two-out homer to left, reducing Boston's lead to 4–1. Boston's starter from Game 3, Nathan Eovaldi, came on in relief of Barnes, getting the final out of the seventh and holding Houston scoreless in the eighth. Osuna pitched through the ninth for Houston, allowing only one hit during his three innings. Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel entered to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Correa struck out, Yuli Gurriel walked, González struck out, and Tony Kemp flied out to end the game and send the Red Sox to the World Series. Kimbrel recorded his fifth save this postseason, while for Price, it was his first victory in 12 career postseason starts; his only previous postseason wins came as a reliever. As for Houston, their World Series reign was over.
|Boston Red Sox||6||0||5||0||3||6||2||7||0||29||40||2|
|Total attendance: 205,556 Average attendance: 41,111|
The 2004 American League Championship Series was the Major League Baseball playoff series to decide the American League champion for the 2004 season, and the right to play in the 2004 World Series. A rematch of the 2003 American League Championship Series, it was played between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, at Fenway Park and the original Yankee Stadium, from October 12 to 20, 2004. The Red Sox became the first (and so far only) team in MLB history to come back from a 3–0 deficit to win a seven-game series. The Red Sox, who had won the AL wild card, defeated the Anaheim Angels in the American League Division Series to reach the ALCS, while the Yankees, who had won the AL East with the best record in the AL, defeated the Minnesota Twins.
In Game 1, Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina pitched a perfect game through six innings, while the Red Sox recovered from an eight-run deficit to close within one run before the Yankees eventually won. A home run by John Olerud helped the Yankees win Game 2. The Yankees gathered 22 hits in Game 3 on their way to an easy win. The Yankees led Game 4 by one run in the ninth inning, but a steal of second base by Red Sox base runner Dave Roberts and a single by Bill Mueller off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tied the game. A home run by David Ortiz then won it for the Red Sox in extra innings. Ortiz also won Game 5 with a single in the fourteenth inning. Curt Schilling pitched seven innings in Game 6 for the Red Sox, during which time his sock became soaked in blood due to an injury in his ankle. Game 7 featured the Red Sox paying back New York for their Game 3 blowout with a dominating performance on the road, anchored by Derek Lowe and bolstered by two Johnny Damon home runs, one a grand slam. David Ortiz was named the Most Valuable Player of the series.The Red Sox would go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, winning their first World Series championship in 86 years and ending the Curse of the Bambino.2016 National League Division Series
The 2016 National League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams in the 2016 National League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff— played in two series. FS1 and MLB Network carried all the games in the United States.These matchups were:
(1) Chicago Cubs (Central Division champions) versus (5) San Francisco Giants (Wild Card Winner)
(2) Washington Nationals (East Division champions) vs (3) Los Angeles Dodgers (West Division champions)This was the second postseason meeting between the Dodgers and the Nationals franchise. Their most recent meeting was in the 1981 National League Championship Series, in which the Dodgers won the National League pennant over the then-Montreal Expos in five games. The Dodgers defeated the Nationals in five games and reached the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2013.The Cubs and Giants also met for the second time in postseason play after the Giants defeated the New York Mets 3–0 in the National League Wild Card Game. Their last meeting was in the 1989 National League Championship Series, which the Giants won in five games. However, they did meet in a Wild Card tiebreaker in 1998 where the Cubs advanced, beating the Giants 5–3. The Cubs won the Division Series three games to one and advanced to the NLCS for the second consecutive year.2018 American League Division Series
The 2018 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams of the 2018 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners, seeded first through third, and a fourth team—the Wild Card Game winner—played in two series. These matchups were:
(1) Boston Red Sox (East Division champions) vs. (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card Game winner)
(2) Houston Astros (West Division champions) vs. (3) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champions)Under sponsorship agreements with T-Mobile, the series was formally known as the American League Division Series presented by T-Mobile. The Astros and Red Sox won their respective series, to advance to the Championship Series.2018 National League Championship Series
The 2018 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the Milwaukee Brewers against the Los Angeles Dodgers, for the National League (NL) pennant and the right to play in the 2018 World Series against the AL Champions, the Boston Red Sox.
The series was the 49th in league history, with Fox airing all games in the United States. This series was the first time two teams that won their division in a tiebreaker game faced each other in a playoff series, as well as the first postseason match-up between the Brewers and Dodgers. For the first time since 2012, the NLCS reached a game seven, with the Dodgers defeating the Brewers and winning back-to-back pennants for the first time since 1977–1978.
For the second year, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; as with the ALCS, this NLCS was sponsored by Google Assistant and was officially known as the National League Championship Series presented by Google Assistant.2018 World Series
The 2018 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's 2018 season. The 114th edition of the World Series was played between the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox and the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in five games to win their fourth World Series title in 15 years dating back to 2004, and their ninth in franchise history. This was the second World Series match-up between the two franchises, after the Red Sox defeated the Brooklyn Robins (later known as the Dodgers) in five games in 1916. The series was sponsored by the Internet television service YouTube TV and officially known as the 2018 World Series presented by YouTube TV.The Series was televised in the United States on Fox. Steve Pearce won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, while Alex Cora became the fifth first-season manager and first manager from Puerto Rico to win the World Series. The Series was notable for its third game which went for 18 innings, a World Series record.
The 2018 World Series was the first since 2000 to feature two teams which had also reached the postseason in the prior year. Additionally, the Red Sox became the first team to win two World Series exactly one century apart, as they had defeated the Chicago Cubs in 1918, while the Dodgers were the first team since the 2011 Texas Rangers, and the first NL team since the 1992 Atlanta Braves, to lose consecutive Fall Classics.Andrew Benintendi
Andrew Sebastian Benintendi (born July 6, 1994) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas. The Red Sox selected Benintendi in the first round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft. Listed at 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) and 170 pounds (77 kg), he bats and throws left-handed.Interference (baseball)
In baseball, interference occurs in situations in which a person illegally changes the course of play from what is expected. Interference might be committed by players on the offense, players not currently in the game, catchers, umpires, or spectators. Each type of interference is covered differently by the rules.Jackie Bradley Jr.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (born April 19, 1990), nicknamed JBJ, is an American professional baseball center fielder who plays for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He stands 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighs 200 pounds (91 kg). He was drafted by the Red Sox with the 40th overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft after being named the 2010 College World Series Most Outstanding Player while attending the University of South Carolina. He made his MLB debut in 2013, and was on the 40-man roster for the 2013 World Series champions, though he didn't play in the postseason. Bradley was an All Star in 2016 and he was named the most valuable player of the 2018 American League Championship Series. Known especially for his capabilities in the outfield, he was awarded a Gold Glove in 2018.Joe Castiglione
Joseph John Castiglione (born March 2, 1947) is an American radio announcer for the Boston Red Sox baseball team, an author and lecturer.Kerwin Danley
Kerwin Joseph Danley (born May 25, 1961) is an umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the National League (NL) from 1992 to 1999 and throughout both leagues since 2000. Danley has worked the American League Division Series six times (2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011). He also umpired in the 2007 and 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Games. Kerwin is married to Marisa Danley.Lauren Shehadi
Lauren Shehadi (born May 23, 1983) is an American sportscaster for the MLB Network.List of Major League Baseball awards
Major League Baseball presents a variety of annual awards and trophies to recognize both its teams and its players. Three team trophies are awarded annually: one each to the National League and American League champions, and one of the champion of the World Series. Additionally, various organizations—such as the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, and select corporate sponsors—present awards for such accomplishments as excellence in batting, pitching performance, fielding prowess, and community service.The Most Valuable Player Award, commonly known as the "MVP", is the oldest individual award, given in its current format since 1931. MVP awards are also presented for performances in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the League Championship Series, and the World Series. Offensive awards include the Silver Slugger Award and the Hank Aaron Award, while the Cy Young Award and Rolaids Relief Man Award recognize pitching; the Rawlings Gold Glove Award is given for fielding. The DHL Delivery Man and Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Awards are the newest awards, both established in 2005. Additionally, the Commissioner, at his discretion, can present an Historic Achievement Award for any great contribution to the sport that he deems worthy.South Carolina Gamecocks baseball
The South Carolina Gamecocks baseball team represents the University of South Carolina in NCAA Division I college baseball. South Carolina has perennially been one of the best teams in college baseball since 1970, posting 32 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 College World Series berths, 6 CWS Finals appearances and 2 National Championships: 2010 and 2011. Carolina is one of six schools in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles. Since joining the Southeastern Conference in 1992, the team has competed in the Eastern division. South Carolina owns a stellar 32-18 record at the CWS, holds the NCAA record for consecutive wins (22) in the national tournament and the longest win streak ever at the CWS (12 in a row from 2010 to 2012) in which the Gamecocks played for national titles all three years.
The current head coach is Mark Kingston, with Chad Holbrook resigning on June 6, 2017. Holbrook took over for Ray Tanner, who was named athletics director at USC after the 2012 season. This follows a string of three consecutive appearances in the national championship series, including two consecutive national championships. During Tanner's stint as head coach, the Gamecocks also captured three SEC titles, one SEC tournament title, six division titles, six College World Series appearances, and thirteen of their fifteen straight NCAA Tournaments (longest streak in the SEC at the time). Between 2010 and 2012 the Gamecocks set two NCAA records for postseason success: the most consecutive NCAA tournament wins (22) and the most consecutive wins in the College World Series (12). In 2013, Carolina set the record for consecutive home NCAA tournament wins, with 29. The team plays its home games at Founders Park, which opened on February 21, 2009.Tony Kemp (baseball)
Anthony Allen Kemp (born October 31, 1991) is an American professional baseball second baseman and outfielder for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Houston Astros.
Part of the 2018 Major League Baseball season
|American League teams|
|National League teams|
|Lore televised by Turner|
|AL Championship Series|
|NL Championship Series|
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|
|AL Wild Card Game|
|NL Wild Card Game|
|AL Championship Series|
|NL Championship Series|
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|
|AL Wild Card Game|
|NL Wild Card Game|
|Little League Classic|
2018 MLB season by team
|Division championships (10)|
|Wild card berths (7)|
|League pennants (2)|
|Division titles (9)|
|Wild card titles (3)|