By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Buckle up. It will once again be the Red Sox and the Astros doing battle for a trip to the World Series.

Houston won its ALDS series over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, and now will face the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. It’s a rematch of the 2018 ALCS, which Boston won in five games.

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It will pit Red Sox skipper Alex Cora against his former team, the same team that put all the blame for their 2017 cheating scandal on their former bench coach. It should provide plenty of storylines and juicy quotes throughout the best-of-seven series, which gets underway Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

Games 1 and 2 of the series will take place in Houston, before shifting to Fenway Park next week for Games 3, 4 and 5. Games 6 and 7 will be back in Houston, if necessary.

The Red Sox won just won two of their seven games against the Astros during the regular season, outscored 42-25 across two series.

The Sox lost three of four to the Astros in Houston to close out May and start June. The Astros outscored the Red Sox 16-3 over the first two games, and Boston lost the third game, 2-1, with their only run coming off a bases loaded walk in the first inning. Boston avoided a four-game sweep with a 5-1 win in the finale, thanks to a three-run homer by Christian Arroyo in the second inning and a two-run double by Xander Bogaerts in the seventh.

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The Astros took two of three when the two teams met in Boston a week later. The Astros won the opener 11-2 to snap a five-game winning streak for the Red Sox. The Astros scored three runs in the seventh inning of the middle game to walk away with a 5-1 victory.

The Red Sox won a wild one in the series finale, avoiding a sweep with a 12-8 victory. After Houston took a 7-4 lead in the fifth, Arroyo tied it with a three-run bomb in the bottom of the frame. Jose Altuve hit a solo homer for the Astros in the sixth, but Boston answered with a five-run inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Bobby Dalbec.

The Astros offense had its way with Boston’s pitching staff, slashing .300/.386/.498 with nine homers and 19 doubles over their seven regular season matchups. The Red Sox hit just .210 against Houston, with only 20 extra base hits (15 doubles, five homers) during the regular season.

After a 95-67 regular season and an AL West crown, the Astros ousted the White Sox in four games in the ALDS. The Red Sox had to go the Wild Card route, beating the Yankees in the play-in game before sending the 100-win Tampa Bay Rays home in four games in their Divisional series matchup.

This will be the third postseason matchup all time between the the Red Sox and the Astros. Houston easily beat Boston in four games in the ALDS in 2017, en route to their controversial World Series victory. Boston got revenge the following year in the ALCS.

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The two rivals will now meet again, and once again be playing for the American League pennant.

CBSBoston.com Staff