Damage Done: Red Sox Advance to ALCS

Craig Kimbrel did his best to ruin my night but he did not prevail. Despite allowing two runs in the bottom of the ninth, Kimbrel was able to finish off the New York Yankees and get the Boston Red Sox to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2013.

Everyone is obviously excited about the Red Sox advancing (especially since they battered the Yankees in the process), but now there is tougher task at hand for Alex Cora and company. That task is to beat the Houston Astros in a best of 7 series. In 2018 the Red Sox played Houston 7 times and won 3 of those games. Get ready for a good series.

Both the Astros and Red Sox are great teams but I think the edge has to go to Houston at the moment. Obviously this is baseball and anything can happen but if you really look at it I’m not sure if the Sox will be able to keep up with Houston.

All three of their wins in the ALDS happened because they jumped all over Yankee starters early. Can they do that with Houston? I hope so, but Houston isn’t throwing J.A. Happ, pitch-tipping Luis Severino, or 38-year-old C.C. Sabathia on the hill. They have possibly the best rotation in baseball with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dalls Kuechel, and Charlie Morton. Their “weakness” last year was the bullpen, but after snatching Robert Osuna from the Blue Jays earlier in the year they are better than ever. I could talk about the lineup too but I don’t feel the need to; they are unreal.

I am not counting out the Red Sox just yet. They have their own studs in Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez, Xander Boagerts, and the future 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts. Add in Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach last season, and Boston has as good of a chance as anyone. Still, I am taking Houston in six. I don’t have faith that the pitching can tame Springer, Altuve, Bregman, etc. But like I said, this is baseball; anything can happen.

-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)

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