Red Sox Report: Who Should fans Root for in the AL Wild Card Game?

The season is coming to a close. Mookie Betts is going to win MVP. Alex Cora is going to win Manager of the Year after leading the Red Sox to their franchise-best 106th win on the season Monday night. But now it’s Boston to get down to business and win in the postseason.

The Sox first postseason opponent they have to face in the ALDS, which starts Friday Oct. 5th, is either going to be the Oakland Athletics or New York Yankees; but which one should Sox fans root for?

Getting to the point, the Athletics are definitely the better matchup. Neither are the biggest threat to the Sox’s World Series hope but both pose different challenges. The Yankees have the sluggers of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. I know that Gary Sanchez has been horrendous and Didi Gregorious is injured but the lineup is still one of the most dangerous in baseball (811 runs in 2018). Even Luke Voit, a cast-off from the St. Louis Cardinals, has been raking since he put on his pinstripes. Oakland’s offense isn’t very behind (790 runs in 2018) but New York’s still presents the bigger challenge.

As for pitching, the Yankees definitely have a steadier rotation. It isn’t the strongest but Luis Severino, C.C. Sabathia, J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka all have the potential to show-out in the playoffs. On the other side, the A’s don’t have their best pitcher, Sean Manea, and have a rotation built up of veterans who would be the number 4 starter on either the Red Sox or Yankees.

Both teams have great bullpens, headlined in New York by Aroldis Chapman and Blake Treinen in Oakland, so I kind of think of that aspect of the game as a wash. Both have better bullpen’s than Boston but I am not going to get into that again.

The only area I give the A’s the edge is with their manager. Bob Melvin is much much better than Aaron Boone but how much of an impact does that really have? Not enough to win a playoff series in my opinion. So if you’re a Red Sox fan, you better be pulling for the “Bargain Bunch” on October 2nd.

-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)

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