Boston Red Sox
Division Series Preview
By: Jason Green
The Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians face each other in a 5-Game series with the winner advancing to the ALDS. Boston won 4 of 6 Games facing Cleveland this season, but the Indians have the home field advantage in this series. The Tribe have a very balanced team ranking 5th in the Majors in runs scored and 7th in team ERA. The Red Sox have the highest scoring team in the bigs and they rank 9th in runs scored.
The Indians already lost starter Carlos Carrasco and they got a scare with a recent injury to Ace Cory Kluber, but he is ready to go. Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin, and Mike Clevinger are the other 3 starters, but it remains to be seen if Clevinger will get a nod since he had an ERA of 5.33 on the season. Because of Kluber’s minir injury Bauer will get the Game 1 start and Kluber will start Game 2.
For the Red Sox Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello will get the start in Game 1 and David Price will go in Game 2. Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz are the other 2 starters and Buchholz was 5-1 in 7 starts in the 2nd half of the season and while Rodriguez was only 2-4 he had a lower ERA.
Both of the bullpens are pretty even with Cleveland having an ERA of 3.48 and Boston with an ERA of 3.58.
The Red Sox have a very imposing lineup and Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz all hit over .310 and Betts and Ortiz each hit over 30 HR with over 112 RBI. Add Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez, who combined for 51 HR and 200 RBI this season, and Boston is loaded, especially from the 1-6 hitters.
The Indians also have a solid lineup, but they do not have as much pop as the Red Sox. Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli are the top 2 RBI and HR guys for the Tribe, but neither hit over .260 for the season.
As these 2 teams were fighting for home field advantage in this ALDS the Indians won that battle winning their last 3 Games of the season while the Red Sox, who had already wrapped up the AL East, limped home losing 5 of their last 6 Games.
The Red Sox are at +175 to win the AL Pennant and at +450 to win the World Series and the Indians are at +300 to win the AL Pennant and +800.
THURS. OCT. 6 Boston at Cleveland
FRI. OCT. 7 Boston at Cleveland
SUN. OCT. 9 Cleveland at Boston
MON. OCT. 10 *Cleveland at Boston
WED. OCT. 12 *Boston at Cleveland
Series Prediction: The Indians were tied with the Rangers for the most home wins in the AL and the first 2 Games are key, as they were only 2 Games over .500 on the road. Most people are picking Boston in this series, but I am not one of them. The Cleveland staff will pitch well, especially at home, and while this series may go 5 Games the Tribe will win and advance to the ALCS. Indians +145