MLB Playoffs: 5 Potential Contributors to Help Boston Red Sox In ALCS
These Are Five Potential Contributors To Help Boston Beat Detroit
The field is set for the ALCS. We now know that it is going to be the Boston Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers. This could make for a very interesting matchup. These are two teams that don't know each other that well, outside of Jose Iglesias. Both teams have an edge in certain aspects of their roster. Detroit definitely has the better starting rotation. This is not to say that Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Jake Peavy are scrubs at all. It is just that when you have a rotation that is comprised of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister, that is a really tough foursome. You won't find a better rotation than that.
Boston has an offense that can beat you in so many ways. They can manufacture runs better than just about any other team out there. They have speed, timely hitting, power, they can play small ball and that can be just as deadly and effective as a three-run homer. Boston also has the better bullpen. Koji Uehara has quite simply been the best closer in all of MLB. Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa did a great job in this previous series setting him up. Joaquin Benoit is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but he isn't even in Uehara's league at the moment.
So based on what we just saw in the ALDS and knowing how some of these players have contributed all season, here are five potential contributors that can make an impact in helping Boston beat Detroit in the ALCS. A few may surprise you. Once again, here we are on a Friday so that makes it a Friday Night Five, ALCS style. It's on the way and we begin with number 5.
5. Mike Napoli
Mike Napoli didn't hit much in the ALDS, but he is about as streaky as they get and he could be due for a hot October. He has done that before with the Texas Rangers. Having that bat hot behind David Ortiz could be a huge weapon for Boston in this series.
4. Jon Lester
Jon Lester was tremendous in his Game 1 start against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was dominant throughout the entire game and set the tone for the rest of the rotation. You feel that if the ALDS had gone to a Game 5, Lester would have pitched just as well. He will be pitching more than once this series and if he continues throwing like he has been, that is good for Boston.
3. Quintin Berry
Here is one of my surprises. I am putting Quintin Berry on here just because one has to think he is going to pop up late in a game and make an impact stealing a base. He also played for Detroit last year, so he knows these pitchers and their moves very well. He already stolen a base in the ALDS, but he never ended up scoring.
2. Craig Breslow
This may be another surprise because he flew under the radar for so long this season. Craig Breslow may be a force to be reckoned with in this series. He shut Tampa Bay down, especially during Game 5. He might be able to do a lot with Detroit's right-handed batters like Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter. Right-handers have not fared well against him all season long.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury
Finally, perhaps the biggest contributor to this series is going to be Jacoby Ellsbury. He has brought his game almost to another level and quite simply, he is the best leadoff hitter in the game. His speed is game-changing and brings a unique dynamic that a lot of other teams can't match up with. Alex Avila will have his work cut out for him. When Ellsbury gets on during this series, he will be off to the races.