ALDS Indians vs Red Sox
The Red Sox are heading to Cleveland to start their series against the Indians and begin the final championship run of the legend, David Ortiz. This will be Indian’s manager Terry Francona’s first post-season series against his former club, whom he won 2 world series titles with. This series will also be John Farrell’s last chance to prove he deserves to stay in Boston. After two last place finishes over the past two seasons, a first round exit will not be acceptable, to the city, its fans, or the higher ups.
Game 1 Thursday night kicks things off. we’ll be seeing Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello take on Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer. This match up shows how important the win is for Boston, with their ace taking the mound, falling a game back would not be a good situation heading into a game 2 match-up against, former Cy Young winner, Cory Kluber. So with The Sox not knowing if David Price has figured out how to pitch well in the playoffs again, they can’t be banking on him for a bounce back win. Price has been shaky this season, so faith is thin. This would be the perfect oppurtunity, if any, to show he is worth that $200 million, and can be that guy who can lead a team to a title.
Clay Buchholz has been chosen to start game 3, which comes as somewhat of a surprise with him being banished to the bull pen earlier this season and even being sent down to AAA. I say somewhat though, because in his last 3 starts, Clay is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA, and if its one thing baseball has taught me over the years, its go with the guy who has the hot hand. Which is why I see the Sox taking both home games, with Eduardo Rodriguez, who in his last 3 starts is 1-0, with 29 Ks, and a 3.24 ERA, set to pitch game 4. These two guys can really set the tone for the series.
The offense I don’t need to talk about because it hasn’t been an issue or a concern all year. Just look at Mookie Betts numbers or the 40 year old Ortiz’s. If that’s not enough, take a look at the top 5 players for each offensive category in the American League, bet you see a Red Sox player.
The bullpen however, ugh. Not the time of year you wanna be seeing late inning walks and relinquished leads. The bullpen has been up and down consistency all season long. Just as with Price, its time to show up, and prove yourselves. We need that bullpen that showed up to start september, to come back. Craig Kimbrel can’t be taking the mound in the 9th only to be replaced in the 11th.
But I will still take the Red Sox in 4 games. With a two game split in Cleveland, and then the Sox winning both at home. I’m also gonna go ahead and say Big Papi has a game winning hit during the series.