The American League Championship Series is set. Per usual, the Houston Astros have again advanced to the ALCS. The Astros will take on one of the MLB playoff's biggest surprises, the Texas Rangers. The team is a 5-seed that has made a deep run without losing a game yet. This article will explain everything that you need to know about the series.

When and where is the Rangers vs. Astros ALCS matchup?

The Astros have home-field advantage and will get to start the series at home. Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 will be at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The two teams won't have to travel too far for Games 3, 4, and 5 as the Rangers' stadium — Globe Life Field — is in Arlington, Texas. The first game is on Sunday, Oct. 15.

How to watch Rangers vs. Astros

The ALCS is a best-of-seven series. The games will be on FOX or FS1. FuboTV will also have live-streaming of the series.

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Game 1: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros, Oct. 15, 8:15 p.m. ET – FOX

Game 2: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros, Oct. 16, 4:37 p.m. ET – FOX/FS1

Game 3: Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers, Oct. 18, 8:03 p.m. ET – FS1

Game 4: Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers, Oct. 19, 8:03 p.m. ET – FS1

Game 5: Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers, Oct. 20, 7:07 p.m. ET – FS1

Game 6: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros, Oct. 22, 8:03 p.m. ET – FS1

Game 7: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros, Oct. 23, 8:03 p.m. ET – FOX/FS1

Odds: Astros -148 to win the series

Astros storylines

Yordan Alvarez, Astros, Dusty Baker, Alex Bregman

For the seventh straight time, the Houston Astros are headed to the ALCS. The Astros are the only American League team to ever accomplish such a feat. The team is full of winners, and they have plenty of experience getting to the next stage of postseason baseball as well. Houston has advanced past the Championship Series and to the World Series in four of the last six years.

The Astros may have a lot of different stars than they did in their ALCS victory in 2017, but there are a lot of familiar faces from their Championship Series win over the New York Yankees last season. Yordan Alvarez was a postseason star last year, and he has only turned it up a notch this year. Alvarez hit four home runs in the ALDS.

While Alvarez had a long-bomb hitting clinic last series that was somewhat predictable, Jose Abreu was a surprise power threat in the series win over the Twins. Abreu was brought in during the offseason as another piece to boost this club's offense, but he struggled through most of the year. His hard contact rate was way down from previous seasons, and he only hit 18 home runs, the second-lowest mark of his career. Abreu has remembered his old ways of power-hitting in these playoffs, though. He had three homers in the ALDS. The emergence of Abreu gives the team another weapon in an already deep lineup.

On top of these two sluggers, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, and Alex Bregman have a history of showing up in the biggest moments. The Astros can also bank on better pitching performances on the days that their top-end starters pitch. In the ALDS, Justin Verlander threw six scoreless innings, but the bullpen nearly gave up the game. In the following game, Framber Valdez was pulled early after allowing five runs. Verlander has historically had postseason struggles, but his impressive outing was encouraging, and Valdez is unlikely to have such a poor performance again. It is also a good sign for the team that they only gave up three runs in the final two games of the series combined.

Rangers storylines

Playing in the Wild Card Series did not hold the Texas Rangers back. The team is os 5-0 in the MLB Playoffs, and they have made quick work of their opponents so far.

Corey Seager has somehow made his $325 million dollar contract look like a bargain. He had a historic ALDS with nine walks in the series. It was the most walks in a Division Series ever, and Seager did it in only three games while only being intentionally walked once. Seager even had five walks in Game 2 alone, the most ever in a single postseason game.

Seager was far from the only Ranger blasting away in the ALDS. The team had 21 runs in their three games in the series. Mitch Garver and Josh Jung's batting averages were above .400, and Evan Carter and Adolis Garcia batted higher than .300. The team can even expect a better series from Marcus Semien in the upcoming round.

Rangers, Max Scherzer

The Rangers' biggest flaw is their starting pitching. Jacob deGrom was lost to the season because of an injury, and  Jon Gray and Max Scherzer have yet to pitch in the postseason. An ALCS return from the latter two would give the team a major boost, and it looks like it is a real possibility. Even if the two star starters can't return, the starting unit just needs to last long enough to put the ball in Aroldis Chapman's hands. The flamethrower is one of the best postseason closers in recent memory.