Red Sox renew rivalry with Yankees

Red Sox renew rivalry with Yankees

Red Sox renew rivalry with Yankees

Yes, they're bitter rivals.

Starters: The ability to hold down an opponent to create cover for your team is vital always - particularly when runs are more precious at this time of year.

While the Red Sox waited, the Yankees, seeking their first title since 2009 and their second since 2000, broke out the long ball and eliminated the Oakland A's in the wild-card game Wednesday night. They're like the modern reboot. We're talking about the Aaron Judges and Mookie Betts of the world. Pearce slotted into the No. 3 spot in the batting order, a move that raised some eyebrows, with J.D. Martinez dropping to the cleanup spot.

As if it weren't enough to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and tear through the 2018 schedule with 108 wins.

The Red Sox haven't seen a pure slugger since the retirement of David Ortiz in 2016, but the arrival of Martinez changed all of that. That could be what makes the difference here. The right-hander is the only Red Sox pitcher with a World Series ring and has nearly identical career splits against right-handed and left-handed hitters (.256/.321/.425 against righties, .256/.323/.426 against lefties). The teams are good.

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The Yankees had 10 hits in Game 1 against Boston, but the first nine were singles before Judge homered leading off the ninth.

The 2018 Major League Baseball season was the greatest in the history of the Red Sox. Five runs in the inning later, the Jays were on their way to a 6-3 loss to give the Royals a 2-0 series lead. In addition, the Yankees have now accumulated 16 home runs in 11 games at Fenway Park this season. The games were not surprisingly high scoring. Neil Walker has two home runs and seven RBIs while slugging.609 over his past 10 games for NY.

"I still remember he pitched Game 163 in Texas and he threw a complete game (a 5-2 win for Tampa Bay in 2013)". It will be Sale in Game 1, which is no surprise given his elite level performance again this season when healthy. Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA) seemed destined for the Cy Young award until a sore left shoulder required two visits to the disabled list. Furthermore, Tanaka conceded seven runs in 9.2 innings at Fenway Park this season.

In their last two one-and-done trips to the ALDS, Sox starters owned an 11.09 ERA. Nathan Eovaldi, thanks to no earned runs allowed in his last three appearances against NY, earned a Game 4 start, if necessary, on Tuesday. He's been good throughout his entire career against Boston, posting a 2.98 ERA over 117.2 innings.

Boston starter Chris Sale breezed through the first inning, striking out the side.

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The series shifts to NY for Game 3 on Monday, followed by Game 4 on Tuesday.

The bullpens will play a key role too. Both bullpens are deep, but it's worth noting that closers Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman each struggled during the season series.

Sale has been generally excellent in his career against the Yankees, posting a 1.61 ERA across 17 games and 100-2/3 innings.

Facing a Yankees lineup with bombers such as Giancarlo Stanton (38 homers), Aaron Judge (27 in an injury abridged campaign) and Aaron Hicks (also 27), Cora says the task for his pitching staff is simple.

The Red Sox feel a mechanical flaw that has since been corrected was the cause of the miles per hour dip.

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