The Boston Red Sox have been a pleasure to watch so far in Major League Baseball’s postseason. They’ve gotten contributions from all over their roster, whether in the starting rotation, the bullpen, or up and down the lineup, en route to clinching a berth in the 2013 American League Championship Series.
The second round of the postseason will see them match up against the Detroit Tigers. On paper, the Tigers may or may not boast the stronger lineup, depending on which side of the spectrum on which you fall, but it’s the rotation that the Tigers possess that will cause some serious issues for the BoSox.
The first four games of this series will pit the Red Sox against Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Doug Fister, in that order. Right off the bat, that has to make the Tigers the favorites in this series. But don’t write off the Red Sox, and this total team mentality that the whole club has bought into throughout the season.
The Red Sox got contributions from up and down their lineup in defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series. The big names, like Jacoby Ellsbury, came to play, but names like Shane Victorino also stepped up, particularly late in the clinching Game 4.
Boston isn’t in a position where they need their starters to try and outduel the likes of Scherzer and Verlander. They simply need to hold their own against them. If they can keep it within striking distance, the Sox boast a bullpen that has been terrific in these playoffs. If their starters can hang with Detroit, they’ll be in business, particularly late in ball games.
The Red Sox aren’t in a position where they need to lean on one or two specific players to come up big for them in this series. They’ve been flashing that team effort all season, particularly in these playoffs. If that continues against the Tigers, even with Detroit’s high profile talent, the Sox will be just fine in the ALCS.