So which is the best team to face?
“If I were the Red Sox, I’d go for the Indians,” said an American League special assignment scout. “With [Justin] Masterson injured, the Red Sox can hit the other guys. Ubaldo [Jimenez] is tough when he’s on, but I think Boston’s pitching can shut down Cleveland’s offense.
“The team I wouldn’t want to face if I were them is Tampa Bay. I know they have a good record against them, but [David] Price, [Matt] Moore, [Alex] Cobb, [Chris] Archer can shut you down at any time.”
If you go by past success, the Sox’ 6-1 mark against Terry Francona’s Indians would certainly qualify as dominating. Of course, Francona returning against his old team would be the most newsworthy and exciting angle, the matchup most people would love to see.
Give me the Indians all day. This is a no brainer right?
Sure, they have Francona. But that's more of a TV show rating grabber than anything. Of course Francona knows the strengths and weaknesses of Lester, Lackey, Buchholz, etc. But he's not picking up a bat anytime soon. Nothing major to worry about there.
Also, don't you think Farrell has a little bit of an advantage here? This is a guy who was Francona's right-hand man for years. I guess Francona could have a similar advantage, but it's diffferent since Francona has never worked with "Manager Farrell".
In second place, I'd take the Rays. I mean these guys are obviously so familiar with each other. I know they are always a dangerous team, but the Red Sox had the upper hand on the Rays this year. Just anything but the Tigers.
Rest of the links:
Globe: Jackie Bradley's role next year tied to Jacoby Ellsbury | Herald: These Red Sox measure up to '04, '07 champs | Herald: Easy to like fun, bearded, winning Red Sox | Herald: Home field advantage important to club |