The rivalry reignites this October as the bitter rivals face off in what is expected to be the closest series of the Divisional round. Both teams have their strengths and glaring weaknesses. It is just a matter of which team comes out ready to play.
Game 1 will be a match of greatness on the mound as the Red Sox ace Chris Sale takes on JA Happ, whose midseason trade sparked new life into the veteran pitcher. Happ had a poor outing in his last start of the season with 4 runs over 6 innings, but in his previous 10 starts since joining the Yankees, he posted a 2.69 ERA while striking out 56 batters. Sale on the other hand had been dominant all season long until he missed time for injury. Since returning Sale has not pitched more than 5 innings and in his final 2 outings of the regular season he allowed 5 runs in a combined 8 innings.
Game 2 will see Tanaka vs David Price and Game 4 will see Rick Porcello take the mound for the Red Sox against either Luis Severino or CC Sabathia. If the Yankees are able to pull out 2 wins in Fenway then they will take the conservative route with CC. If the series is split or if the Yankees are down 0-2 then they will need to go with their ace, Severino.
This will be a high scoring series for both teams as they both rely on their offense to win games. The Yankees will look for Aaron Judge and Stanton to provide the power while Andujar, Didi, and Gardner will need to get on base to help the bigger hitters drive in runs.
The Red Sox lineup is a bit more potent, despite the Yankees high home run totals. Mookie Betts and JD Martinez will lead the charge for Boston, similar to Ortiz and Manny in the 2000s. However, they cannot do it alone and will need Benintendi and Bogaertz to help them out.
In Game 1, Chris Sale will pitch his longest game since July going into the 5th inning, but will struggle, allowing a home run to the Yankees within the first 3 innings. JA Happ on the other hand will be on point as he shuts down the Red Sox offense for the better part of the game. JD Martinez will get a big hit off of him, but the damage will be minimal. When the game goes to the bullpen, the Yankees will find the runs to open it up while their bullpen locks it down for the win.
Game 2 will be a high scoring affair as both pitchers struggle to keep the ball down. Balls will bounce of the Green Monster and soar over the wall plenty of times in this one. The back and forth power show will keep it somewhat close, but once again the Boston bullpen will be spotty, giving up another run late in the game. Mookie Betts will begin a rally late in the game to give them the lead off David Roberts. Betances will attempt to put out the fire as he enters the game with runners on base. They will score the go ahead run, allowing the Red Sox to steal the win.
Game 3 will be a pivotal moment for both teams as the series is tied 1-1. Rick Porcello will have a rough outing, overstaying his welcome as the Red Sox avoid going to the bullpen too early. It will cost them as Giancarlo has a big game, carrying the Yankees to an early lead. The Red Sox bats will go quiet in this game, leading to a Yankee victory.
Game 1 – Yankees win
Game 2 – Red Sox win
Game 3 – Yankees win