The Boston Red Sox have been waiting for this moment for weeks now. In clear control of the division, the Red Sox have been sitting on 1st place for quite a while now and are ready to play some postseason baseball. The Red Sox are one of the favorites to win the World Series, while the Indians have stumbled their way into the postseason, with bandages covering their sores. The Indians would have ideally liked to come in with a healthy Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.
Kluber will start Game 2, but he has been nursing an injury to his quad. Carrasco is out of service for the remainder of the postseason so you won’t see him around. And then you have Danny Salazar who was injured, but was sent down to the minors to rehab his elbow. Instead of pitching in the MLB Postseason, he’ll be pitching in the minors at the same time.
Rick Porcello gets his opportunity to shine on the biggest stage of them all in the playoffs. He’s had a terrific campaign in the regular season, and he just needs to keep it going here in October. It would be a hard blow if he hits a pothole right now when it matters the most. In any case, through the regular season, he was outstanding and gets the nod to get Game 1 against the Indians.
The Indians are not being looked at too highly here. Out of all the playoffs team, people aren’t giving the Indians too much of a chance to pull it out. But let’s look at the big picture for a minute. Nobody believed the Indians would make the postseason this year, let alone run away with the American League Central and get home field advantage of the ALDS. However, now they have another obstacle to overcome, with no Carrasco in the mix. Trevor Bauer will get the call in Game 1. Not ideal for the Indians, but maybe they can steal one with Bauer on the mound. They’re going to have to steal a couple games in this series, might as well do it tonight against Porcello.
Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians
Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.15 ERA) vs Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA)
The notion of the Red Sox starting the postseason on the road, without home field advantage, sounds a bit puzzling considering how good they’ve been playing. But the Indians have been playing under the radar all season long and edged the Red Sox out with a 94-67 record, compared to 93-69 for the Red Sox. The Indians were sneaky good, but the question is can they be good behind Bauer today?
Bauer hasn’t been producing at the level the Indians would have hoped lately. Especially for a guy who they’re counting on to pick up for an injured rotation. In his last three starts, Bauer has posted an ERA of 6.05 in his last three starts, including a WHIP of 1.50. Conversely, Porcello has yielded an ERA of 3.38. Bauer has gotten absolutely throttled against the Red Sox in his time against them. In four appearances, he was belted for a 12.71 ERA and 2.61 WHIP. The Indians might grab a game in this series, but it’s hard for me to fade Porcello and the Red Sox in this spot, who are attracting a decent enough price to be able to bet. Porcello and the Red Sox get the job done in Game 1.
PICK: RED SOX TO WIN -140