It’s becoming increasingly likely that the American League playoffs will feature three AL East teams, led by the Red Sox as the division champs.
If the season ended today, the Sox would host the winner of an Orioles – Blue Jays Wild Card showdown. Here’s a glance at how the Sox match up against both of those squads as well as the Rangers and Indians – who are also headed to the postseason.
The Red Sox finished the season 11-8 against the O’s. They padded that record just last week when they ripped off four in a row in Baltimore. It’s highly unlikely though that the Red Sox can stay THIS hot when the reach October. Keep in mind that the backend of this much-acclaimed win streak featured victories over Tampa Bay – a team that checked out just after the Fourth of July.
The best series to look at between the Sox and O’s might be the one that took place at Fenway in early September. The Sox pounded the O’s, 12-2, in the opener but lost 6-3 and 1-0 in the final two games.
David Price (who would start Game 2 of an ALDS against the O’s) has been solid against Baltimore recently, as he has given up an average of just two runs in three starts since the beginning of August.
The Sox are 6-7 against the Jays this season and still have three games against them this weekend – albeit those games might not mean all that much.
Price has been extremely effective against this old club this season, giving up an average of just two earned runs in three starts, but he hasn’t pitched against them since June.
The Sox are 3-3 against the Rangers this season, but haven’t played them since July 6. They’re obviously a much different team than they were at that point in the season, as are the Rangers, but expect a slugfest if these two meet in the playoffs. The two squads put up final scores of 12-5, 7-2 and 11-6 in their last series.
The Red Sox are 4-2 against Terry Francona and friends this year. The Sox’ 2016 season started in Cleveland many moons ago as they were rained out on Opening Day, but got things underway on April 5 – a 6-2 Red Sox win. The Sox last played at the House Formerly Known as Jacobs Field on Aug. 15 and won 3-2 thanks in large part to a two-run David Ortiz blast. Ortiz, who will no doubt be looking to go out with a bang this postseason, loves playing in “The Land.”
“I always love hitting in this park,” Ortiz said at the time. “Who doesn’t? It’s a really good hitting ballpark.”