Which team should Red Sox want to play, Indians or Rays?
|10.01.13 at 1:53 am ET|
Take your pick.
Do you want the team in the Indians that has won 10 games in a row, exuding the kind of feeling not seen since the 2007 Colorado Rockies? (Remember, the club that went 21-1 before being swept by the Red Sox in the World Series?)
Or how about the Rays, an American League East rival that has given you a boatload of headaches for the last half-decade (48-43 advantage for Tampa Bay in the last five seasons)?
These are the options the Red Sox find themselves facing.
After the Rays’ 5-2 win over the Rangers, Tampa Bay now gets a crack at Cleveland in Wednesday night’s Wild Card play-in at Jacobs Field. The winner, of course, earns the right to play the Red Sox in a best-of-five division series.
So which club should the Red Sox want to play?
vs. Red Sox in ‘13: 7-12.
Starters vs. Red Sox in ‘13: Matt Moore (2 starts, 2-0, 15 innings, 1.80 ERA, .102 opponent’s batting average); David Price (5 starts, 2-2, 32 2/3 innings, 2.48 ERA, .167 batting average against); Alex Cobb (4 starts, 0-1, 22 2/3 innings, 5.16 ERA, .270 batting average against).
Lester vs. Rays in ‘13: Four starts, 2-1, 4.32 ERA (3 outings of 2 runs or less).
Lackey vs. Rays in ‘13: Two starts (both on road), 0-1, 8.10 ERA.
Top hitters vs. Clay Buchholz: David DeJesus 4-for-11, .364; Jose Molina 7-for-22, .318.
Worst hitters vs. Buchholz: Kelly Johnson 1-for-10, .100; Ben Zobrist 4-for-36, .111; Yunel Escobar 3-for-16, .188; Evan Longoria 7-for-34, .206. (13 strikeouts).
Buchholz vs. Rays in ‘13: Two starts, 2-0, 0.00 (13 innings, 5 hits, .122 batting average against).
Reasons why Sox should fear Rays: 1. Always seem to play Sox tough; 2. Starting pitching; 3. Familiarity with Red Sox.
Reasons why Sox shouldn’t fear Rays: 1. Lineup can be pitched to; 2. End-of-game relievers are inconsistent; 3. Have handled them for most part this season.
vs. Red Sox in ‘13: 1-6.
Starters vs. Red Sox in ‘13: Ubaldo Jimenez (1 start, 0-1, 1.2 innings, 37.80 ERA, .333 batting average against); Danny Salazar (Never faced); Scott Kazmir (1 start, 0-0, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 IP); Zach McAllister (2 starts, 1-1, 10 innings, 5.40 ERA, .275 batting average against).
Top hitters vs. Jon Lester: Asdrubal Cabrera 7-for-21, ,333; Nick Swisher 17-for-53, .321; Carlos Santana 3-for-10, .300.
Worst hitters vs. Lester: Ryan Raburn 2-for-12, .167; Mike Aviles 2-for-11, .182; Jason Kubel 3-for-14, .214.
Lester vs. Indians in ‘13: Two starts, 1-0, 3.86 ERA (14 innings, 6 ER).
Top hitters vs. John Lackey: Michael Brantley 2-for-5, .400; Jason Giambi 13-for-40, .325.
Worst hitters vs. Lackey: Carlos Santana 1-for-7, .143; Nick Swisher 10-for-64, .156; Asdrubal Cabrera 4-for-23, .174; Jason Kubel 3-for-17, .176.
Lackey vs. Indians in ‘13: One start, 1-0, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER.
Top hitters vs. Clay Buchholz: Jason Kipnis 2-for-4, .500; Asdrubal Cabrera 4-for-9, .444; Nick Swisher 5-for-15, .333.
Worst hitters vs. Buchholz: Michael Brantley 0-for-9, .000; Jason Kubel 0-for-5, .000; Carlos Santana 1-for-5, .200.
Buchholz vs. Indians in ‘13: No starts.
Reasons why Sox should fear Indians: 1. Hottest team in baseball; 2. Return of Terry Francona; 3. Ubaldo Jimenez one of American League’s hottest pitchers.
Reasons why Sox shouldn’t fear Indians: 1. Beaten up on bad teams; 2. Starters after Jimenez don’t strike fear; 3. Bullpen uncertainty.
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