The Red Sox enter the postseason as underdogs…many would actually say heavy underdogs. The Astros had the superior team during the regular season. They have a high powered offense. They led the league in runs, batting average, and OPS. Oh, and their pitching isn’t too shabby either. They were fifth in the AL in ERA and second in strikeouts. The Red Sox, as we know, won the AL East, but have not looked like a championship caliber team. Their offense has been inconsistent. They lack power. They have lacked depth in their starting rotation. The vast majority of the “experts” give the Red Sox no shot in this series. Well, they’re wrong.
The Red Sox are going to take down the Astros in five games are here are the reasons why:
1. Chris Sale. We get it. We’ve heard it for the past week. Justin Verlander had an incredible second half. Better than Sale. Do you know what he doesn’t have? The “stuff” that Chris Sale has. Like 12-15 strikeout a game still when he’s at the top of his game. If this series goes five games, it’s likely that Sale and Verlander will face off twice. The Red Sox haven’t had a more dominant pitcher than Sale since Pedro Martinez. This guy appears to be poised for the big moment. We’re about to see greatness…
2. Strong bullpen’s win in the postseason. Here’s where the Red Sox have a big edge. The Red Sox have the best closer in baseball in Craig Kimbrel. Addison Reed is one of the best set up men in the game. Add in David Price being able to throw multiple innings in back to back days? This is a nightmare for opposing teams in games close and late. Many media members made a big deal about how the Red Sox 15-3 record in extra innings skewed their overall record. That record says a lot about the depth of this bullpen. The Red Sox 3.15 bullpen ERA was over a full run better than Houston’s 4.27 ERA.
Who are you taking in a tie game late? Much different than the Sox-Indians series, isn’t it?!
3. John Farrell. In game strategy. Always one step ahead. Pitching “guru”. Control of the clubhouse…
Joking, of course!
3. This team is resilient. Say what you want about their flaws, but this Red Sox team has come through in tough moments. They win close games. They pick it up when they lose a few in a row. When they’re up against a wall, they typically come through. This team has some fight in it that last year’s team severely lacked. Guys like Beninitendi, Betts, and even Xander Bogaerts have come through in the clutch. This postseason could be the where we see many of the Red Sox you stars shine in the national spotlight.
Red Sox in 5. Chris Sale and the bullpen lead the way…with a resilient comeback at Fenway to extend the series.