The Boston Red Sox keep doing all the right things, but a fellow American League foe have them a challenge last night. This time it was the Cleveland Indians, who have an easy road in the American League Central. With no competition in sight, the Indians have been able to take a nap, wake up, and then take another nap and still have a huge lead over the Twins.
They might run into some problems when they meet some elite competition, though. In any event, the Indians showed a lot of fight by holding in there after they got behind by 3 runs. They came back to make it a 5-3 game. It got tight late, but the Red Sox comeback bid in the 9th came up short. Is it completely indicative of how a postseason series would go? No, of course not, anything can happen. However, on paper the Indians are still a step behind the Red Sox and Yankees. The Athletics and Astros would provide a heck of a challenge as well. It wouldn’t be too wise to ignore the Indians, however.
The bullpen certainly means something when the postseason arrives for every team. While the Indians had a strong bullpen in their last World Series run, it isn’t the case in 2018. In fact, the Indians’ relievers as a team are dead last amongst teams who are currently in the postseason. If the postseason started today, the Indians would have a bullpen that ranks 27th in the majors.
Andrew Miller has returned and has seemed to pick it up recently. The Indians are being cautious with him with the postseason approaching, so if he can hit a groove at the right time, we might have to look so harshly at that 27th spot. The Red Sox have gotten tremendous production out of their newcomer, Nathan Eovaldi. The Yankees went cheap at the trade deadline and the Red Sox did as well with Eovaldi. Eovaldi will get the start this evening, while the Indians are scheduled to counter with Shane Bieber. Head below for our free Indians vs. Red Sox pick.
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox Pick
Shane Bieber (6-2, 4.37 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.62 ERA)
Shane Bieber has had some sticking power in the major leagues this season. Rookies typically have a short leash and Bieber has managed to stay in the majors. Bieber enters with a respectable ERA of 4.37 and 1.41 WHIP. Those are fine enough numbers for a rookie, but he will have to improve on those over the next two years if he wants to be a recognizable name.
There’s more people wondering if he’s related to Justin Bieber if anything. Bieber has looked good with a 2.70 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in his previous three outings. He enters Fenway with a 4.11 ERA and 1.40 WHIP on the road. Bieber has yet to play the Red Sox in his career.
The only place Eovaldi hasn’t been able to pitch is on the road. He must not like sleeping in hotel room beds, because his outings on the road have been a little off. Eovaldi is coming off a strong start on the road, though, as he allowed just 1 run against the Phillies. In any event, he’s bene electric at home with an ERA of 1.12, 0.66 WHIP, and .195 OBA.
Eovaldi didn’t see a difference in his move to Boston. In his first two starts at Fenway, he hasn’t allowed a single run. He went 15 innings strong of scoreless baseball against the Twins and Yankees. Against the Yankees, Eovaldi gave up just 3 hits in 8 innings. He was mowing them down, averaging just 11.6 pitches per inning. The Red Sox likely bounce back and get a win back Tuesday after falling a night ago.