Tonight at 7:40 pm E/T, the Boston Red Sox are going to try and avoid falling into a 2-1 hole against the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. The Sox are sending starter Nathan Eovaldi to the mound while the Yankees are starting the game with stud / Cy Young contender Luis Severino.
Starting Eovaldi over Rick Porcello in this game is a bold move by Alex Cora, but it may be the right one. Rick Porcello has a terrible postseason track record and Eovaldi, who’s first postseason start is tonight, was dominant against the Yankees this season. In 4 starts this season Eovaldi has held the Bronx Bombers to a .173 team average. Not half bad if you ask me.
Still, I think Eovaldi should the least of the Red Sox worries. The bullpen was bad in the first two games of the series and remains the biggest issue. They were alright Saturday night until Eduardo Rodriguez decided to give up a 3-run moonshot to Gary Sanchez.
I also think there should be some worry around the offense. If the top four guys in their lineup don’t hit, there is virtually no shot at them winning. The drop-off from Xander Boagerts to a hobbled Mitch Moreland is huge. Opposing pitchers can run rough shot when facing 5 through 9 in the Sox lineup. Yes the first four in the lineup are very good but they are going to have to carry a very heavy load if they want to advance this postseason.
It will be very interesting to see how the Sox bounce back from the loss on Saturday night. Going into Yankee Stadium is never really the easiest thing and with a chance of going down 2-1 to the wild-card team, the pressure is on Boston.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)
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