Thursday, October 6, 2016

Big Papi's Final Rodeo (or, the Red Sox Are Back in the Playoffs!)

Our view at Fenway Park, August 14, 2016

Another sports/baseball related post, but that's okay because it's one of my favorite times of year...MLB playoff time! My Boston Red Sox won their division (AL East) and open up their postseason tonight in the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians. Since winning the World Series in 2013, the Sox finished in last place the previous two seasons before finally fielding another winner this year, which happens to also be David "Big Papi" Ortiz' final season. It's been really exciting to see how well the team played with a mixture of veterans like Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Dustin Pedroia alongside exciting new homegrown stars like Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Andrew Benintendi. Even though there were some ups and downs along the way, the team was able to hold off the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Yankees and capture the division.  Here's hoping that the Sox can get Big Papi (and Red Sox Nation) one final parting gift ahead of his retirement at the season's end: a fourth World Series ring!

My prediction for this series is based on several factors: the Red Sox having the best offense in the American League, having nearly identical home and road records (Cleveland has homefield advantage for this series), the Sox having two great starters in Porcello and Price, and Cleveland's starting rotation being decimated by injuries. In their favor, the Indians have a much better home record than they do on the road, the second best offense in the AL (behind the Sox), a superior bullpen, and our former manager Terry Francona at the helm. The managerial advantage alone is a huge one for Cleveland, especially given Sox manager John Farrell's penchant for making poor in-game decisions. 

That being said, I predict that the Red Sox will win the series in four games and move on to the ALCS.

Whatever happens, it'll be interesting...that's why they play the games, and I'll be watching every pitch!

How about you? For all the baseball fans reading this, who's your favorite team and, if they're in the playoffs, how do you think they'll do?

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