Houston Astros vs Red Sox: Why this 2017 ALDS will be extremely intense

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 29: Derek Fisher
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 29: Derek Fisher /

As the Houston Astros get ready for their playoff quest to reach the World Series, we’re reminded of a secret rivalry that is taking place.

It’s a Houston Astros rivalry that hasn’t been heated up yet but perhaps it could have the potential to be one of the biggest in all of sports.

Especially for the Houston Astros, it’s a double-edged sword when it comes to local rivalries in general. Ask anyone here who our number one major rivalry is with, the answer will be Dallas. It’s a rivalry that seems to be 40-60 with Dallas being in charge of 60. As devastating as it sounds, it’s the truth.

What about other cities? Take New York? We beat the Knicks in the NBA Finals and the Yankees in a playoff game. We also did lose to the Mets in a playoff series. But New York probably sees us an ant that is too slow.

Los Angeles? We’ve had moments where we’ve beaten the Lakers in the playoffs. But then again, so did they. The Dynamo lost two MLS Cup titles to the Los Angeles Galaxy while the Houston Comets did have to beat the LA Sparks to get to the WNBA Finals.

Chicago? The White Sox swept us and we still don’t have an answer to the infamous Bulls-Rockets debate on if Michael Jordan had not retired, what would happen.

But if there’s a rivalry with any other city that should be mentioned, but isn’t, it’s a rivalry with Boston.

Why Bean Town?

There are two articles that describe the things I’m going to say. There’s this one from Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald. And then, there’s mine from an earlier post.

What does Boston have that we don’t have? They got the Battle of Bunker Hill site which was a loss. We got the Battle of San Jacinto site, which was a win. They got the famous Cheers bar while we got NASA. They have 38 professional championships while we have just two. That is unless you decide to add the AFL, WNBA, MLS, and Houston Aeros’ championships, which still wouldn’t make a difference in total rings.

But what makes this worse is that this is a one-sided rivalry. It seems like in the most important of games, Boston always has defeated us. It’s no secret that Boston has had more success than us.


Twice in the 1980’s, we ruined the potential Celtics-Lakers matchups by beating the Lakers.

You could say in 1981, the Rockets won the Western Conference Finals too early while the Celtics had to win perhaps the greatest playoff series ever overcoming a 3-1 deficit to Philadelphia. But after two games, the series was tied at two going to game five. God bless Moses Malone, who we all miss dearly. But if he hadn’t made the comments he made, perhaps the result would’ve been different.

In 1986, the Rockets ruined a third straight Magic-Bird showdown. We were down 2-0 after two losses in Boston. We won game three and should’ve won game four. Of course in Game 5, Ralph Sampson had to get to a fight and was ejected. Despite winning the game, we had no chance in Game 6.

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In football, the Texans lost in the AFC Divisional Playoffs twice to the Patriots. Of course, the Pats were the Pats.

In 1984, during Doug Flutie‘s Heisman Trophy season, he led the Boston College Eagles to a 45-28 Cotton Bowl victory. Their opponent? The Houston Cougars.

With the exception of the Dynamo beating the New England Revolution in the MLS Cups, which everyone outside Houston refuses to count as titles, all of these examples lead to one conclusion:

Boston had the better teams overall.

What Does Boston Think of Us?

I can’t say what Boston thinks of us entirely. I want to believe they respect us and like us. Perhaps it’s because we don’t seem to fit their level of an intense rivalry. We’re not the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Lakers. We certainly aren’t the Montreal Canadiens for sure. As a matter of fact, we’re not any team that had Peyton Manning on it. So likewise, a Boston victory over us would be like business as usual.

Much like other cities, they’ll probably throw jabs at us and rub it in. I mean in a battle of Mark Wahlberg vs. Dennis Quaid or John Cena vs. Booker T., who would come out victorious?

Why Bring This Up?

The article by Buckley is an indicator that maybe a rivalry between Boston and Houston could be brewing soon. It’s too soon to tell, but it seems like that might happen.

A three-point loss to the Patriots is perhaps the first sign of trouble for Boston. Not because the Texans are getting closer to beating them. But it’s more because Boston might see Houston as a threat. Will it be like the Hatfields or McCoys to Boston? No! It’s like Boston has more concerns with New York or Los Angeles that they get annoyed when we challenge them in anything.

But here’s why it’s a possibility. The Celtics are suddenly a threat in the Eastern Conference to Cleveland while the Rockets are a threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference. The Red Sox are having to play without David Ortiz while the Astros are what we all know they can be. The Patriots are still the Patriots while Deshaun Watson has a chance to lead the Texans to greatness. Only the Bruins are spared since we don’t have an NHL team. We should of course.

Next: Why the Houston Astros need to be wary of the fate of 1998


The only thing Houston can proclaim over Boston is more population. But there’s no denying Boston’s success in sports. If Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy, who I respect, wants to write an article proclaiming Houston to be the giant stepson of Boston, fine by me.

Should the Astros beat Boston in the ALDS, it would at least put an end to the one-sided rivalry for the time being and finally have Houston winning against Boston in an important series.

Maybe in order for Houston to finally win a championship after 22 years (10 if we count the Dynamo), we would have to overcome the obstacles presented to us. As they say, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.