By Tyler Englander 10/04/2018
Rivalry Renewed. The Red Sox and Yankees are set to continue the greatest rivalry in sports on Friday when they meet in the American League Division Series. It’s the first time the two historic rivals have played in the playoffs since 2004, and the first matchup in the division series. The season series was pretty even with the Red Sox winning 10 of 19 in large part due to a four-game sweep at Fenway in August.
The Red Sox will send ace Chris Sale to the mound in Game One. Sale has appeared in four games since coming off the disabled list, but all signs point to him being fully healthy in the playoffs. The Yankees haven’t announced a starter yet, but we can expect J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka to pitch the first two games after ace Luis Severino pitched in Thursday night’s AL Wild Card Game.
A player to watch in this series for the Red Sox is Steve Pearce. Pearce is hitting .304 against lefties this season, which will be important when the Sox face lefties J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia. Pearce has homered off both southpaws this season. For the Yankees, Luke Voit is important to their success. Since coming over from St.Louis in a trade deadline deal, Voit has hit .333 and had a big two-run triple in the AL Wild Card Game.