Red Sox already with slight advantage in ALCS

Stephen Drew gives Jonny Gomes a Budweiser shower Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.. Credit: Getty Images
Stephen Drew gives Jonny Gomes a Budweiser shower Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla. Credit: Getty Images

Now that the Red Sox have taken their Divisional Series against the Rays following their 3-1 win Tuesday night, they can turn their focus on the next task at hand: the American League Championship Series, which will begin Saturday (TBA) at Fenway Park.

In what should ultimately benefit the Red Sox, they won’t know their opponent until Thursday night when the Tigers and Athletics will play a deciding Game 5 in Oakland (8:07, TBS) with the winner then coming to Boston.

Both teams will send start pitchers in the pivotal Game 5 with Justin Verlander going for the Tigers and Sonny Gray for the A’s. This plays into the Red Sox’s favor as it’s likely that whichever ace prevails, he won’t be available until at least Game 3. The Sox went 3-4 against the Tigers this year, but did take two-of-three in an early September series at Fenway. They split their six games with the A’s.

Detroit’s offense has been struggling of late as prior to Tuesday’s Game 4, they scored runs in just two of the first 27 innings of series. Fortunately for the Tigers, they have possibly the best starting rotation in the playoffs with Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez.

Oakland doesn’t have many big names, particularly on offense, but was still able to finish third in the American League in runs scored per game with 4.73 in the regular season. They too have a solid starting rotation led by Bartolo Colon and then young pitchers on the rise in A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker. No matter who the Sox get come Saturday, they certainly will be put to the test.

With the Red Sox winning in four games, and all their starting pitchers seeing action, their rotation will be lined up perfectly, likely staying the same in Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy for the first four games. Whether they play the Tigers or A’s, their opponent will not get the rotation order they would like, so already the Sox have a slight advantage, and adding in the amount of traveling by their opponent in the days leading up to Saturday’s Game 1.

The Red Sox offense was outstanding at Fenway, scoring 19 runs in the two home games of the series, but scored just eight runs in the two games in Tampa. Their lineup was a bit inconsistent with a few guys having terrific series, and a few others not performing like they are capable of.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and David Ortiz led the way, going a combined 20-for-45 (.444) with nine RBIs. On the other hand, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli went 6-for-31 (.194).

Whether it’s Detroit or Oakland coming to Fenway this weekend, it is sure to be an electrifying atmosphere as the Red Sox continue to surprise the baseball world in their historic turnaround from last year and continue their quest for the franchise’s eighth World Series title.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

Going Out

Get down and dirty at these neighborhood dives

Philly's got its share of innovative gastropubs and seen-and-be-seen drinking establishments with inventive cocktails served in mason jars. But sometimes we just want a shot…

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.