Did you enjoy last night’s Wild Card game? There’s another tonight. But the real playoffs begin tomorrow with the Red Sox and Indians. Terry Francona has his surprising Cleveland team hosting his old team in a matchup of 93+ game winners. Cleveland finished a game better but who has the upper hand in this series?
The Red Sox come into the series winning 12 of their last 17 games, but lost five of their final six. So are they hot or cold or does any of that matter? What they are, for sure, is really good at hitting. The Red Sox were first in the majors with 878 runs, almost 100 runs more than any other team in the American League. It seemed like every young player got really good at the same time, especially likely MVP Mookie Betts. Boston stalwarts David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia had great years as well.
On the mound, the Red Sox found less success but weren’t half bad. They were led by probable Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and really not much else. David Price made a lot of money and in return gave the Red Sox a bunch of mediocre innings, and Price is known for his postseason struggles. After that is Clay Buchholz, who had another miserable season, and 2nd year pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. This is not a rotation that inspires confidence.
The Indians have seemed to take hits all season long yet they continued to win. The offense was 5th in runs scored, to the surprise of many, led by their young infielders Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor. Their pitching is almost as good and Cleveland may have the best rotation in baseball when all their starters are healthy. The problem for Cleveland is that they’re not healthy. Starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar will not pitch this postseason. The Indians need Kluber to pitch like it’s 2014 and for Trevor Bauer to be the best version of himself because they really don’t have anyone else.
The Pick: Red Sox in 4
The Red Sox offense is just too good for Cleveland to be without two of their top three starters. Kluber could give Boston some trouble but they should win the other three game he doesn’t pitch.