Cleat Geeks

Red Sox Take On the Indians In ALDS

Photo Credit: Boston Globe

 

The Boston Red Sox face the Cleveland Indians in the first game of the American League Division Series tonight. Despite the similar records, the series looks to favor Boston with their tremendous offensive power against what is a banged up bunch of pitchers on the Cleveland side. That said, Boston has a questionable bullpen and their bats fell silent in the last few games of the season, against New York and Toronto. Both teams have their advantages, which should make for a great series. Let’s explore what each team has going for them

 

Cleveland: Terry Francona, Manager

terry-francona-john-farrellFrancona is a strong managerial presence having done his best this year with the personnel on the Indians roster. How? Through applying the facts and stats that he knows about each batter the team faces. The team’s leadership and Francona are no strangers to leveraging analytics. Francona won a World Series in much the same way in Boston in 2004. Small and creative adjustments based tons of homework could mean a win in the upcoming series. And finally, Francona will know precisely how his pitching staff should handle David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia after managing them in 2004.

 

Boston: John Farell, Manager

John Farrell did the very best he could with the personnel he had this season. There were many moments where we thought Farrell made bad decisions, but there were enough games, most of them played in Boston’s winningist run in September, where Farrell really put extra effort into putting the right guys in the right place. Fans are hard on Farrell and Rick Porcellorightfully so. He won the World Series during his first season with the team. He has his eyes on the bigger picture. Fans must trust that we are in good hands.

 

Boston: Rick Porcello, Starting Pitcher

Rick Porcello Rick Porcello has had a Cy Young Award winning season. This season is emblematic of why they chose Porcello. He had a career-high 22 wins this season with a earned run average of 3.15 and 1.00 WHIP. Last season was an abysmal season for him, winning only 9 games for the Red Sox. His command, pitch selection, and velocity earned him a spot at the top of the pitching rotation, over overhyped David Price. The only thing that could hold him back is his limited and poor postseason performance.

 

Cleveland: Andrew Miller & Cleveland Indians Bullpen

Things could have gone either way for Andrew Miller when he left the Boston Red Sox bullpen in 2013. Was he destined for greatness or would his career unravel? He bounced around the league to from Baltimore to New York and finally Cleveland. By July 31, 2016, Miller had won 6 games as a reliever for the Yankees and was traded to Cleveland. The Yankees hoped to rebuild their system from the bottom up with the four prospects they reeived of Cleveland in return. Miller leads a strong bullpen filled with the other exceptional arms of Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, and Dan Otera. All three, but especially Miller will cause problems for Red Sox batters.mookiebettsfenway

 

Boston: Offense

With the exception of the last four games, the Red Sox have the best offense in the league. Mookie Betts, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts, all hit over 25 or more home runs this season. David Ortiz hit an astonishing 38. Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, Ortiz, and even the likes of catcher Sandy Leon at the bottom of the order contributed hits and runs throughout the regular season. Let’s hope with a few days of rest the hit parade continues and mows down Clcveland’s starting pitchers, Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber. Kluber is injured with a strained right quad giving the Red Sox the upper hand in game two.

 

It is going to be a great series. What do you think each teams assets and liabilities are?

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