By Tyler Englander 10/01/2018
It is the hunt for the Red Sox October. The Sox postseason will get underway Friday at Fenway Park. The Red Sox don’t know their opponent yet, as they play the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card Game between the Yankees and Athletics. Boston fared well against the Yankees going 10-9 this season but struggled against the Athletics going 2-4, including being no-hit by A’s lefty Sean Manaea in April.
The Red Sox have announced that ace Chris Sale will get the ball in Game One of the ALDS. Sale has only started four games since coming off the DL with shoulder soreness, but Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski confirmed to reporters that Sale was “ready to throw 100 pitches in the playoffs.” Although the Sox haven’t announced a starter for Game Two, all signs point to fellow lefty David Price. Price has had a good year going 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA.
On the offensive side, the Red Sox will rely on MVP favorite Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Betts won the AL Batting Championship this year, finishing with the League’s best average at .326 and Martinez led MLB in home runs with 43. One name to watch heading into the playoffs is super utility man Brock Holt. Holt has played well down the stretch and could get some starts and first base if Mitch Moreland continues to struggle.
The Red Sox biggest concern heading into October is their bullpen. Besides All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, the pen remains a question mark. Knuckleball Steven Wright has emerged as a reliable arm for Alex Coa, but the Sox will need guys like Brandon Workman, Ryan Braiser, and Matt Barnes to step up if they want to make a run to the fall classic.