Monday, October 3, 2016

Carrasco & Salazar Injuries Could Give Sox ALDS Edge

Despite blowing the chance at home-field advantage by dropping five of their final six games, the Red Sox have caught a huge break by not having to face Cleveland's two best starters. Both Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar will be unavailable to Terry Francona in the ALDS—due to late-season injuries. Boston will face Trevor Bauer in GAME ONE at The Mistake By The Lake, followed by Corey Kluber in GAME TWO. Both are "OK" starters (Kluber won the Cy Young in 2014, after all), but they are definitely a few notches below Carrasco and Salazar. Josh Tomlin will be Tito's GAME THREE starter, with GAME FOUR's starters (if necessary) still up in the air for both teams. The Carmine Hose will send out their cast of starters in the following order: Rick Porcello, David Price, (probably) Clay Buchholz and then (probably) Eduardo Rodriguez. The Tribe's likely lineup has an 'under-the-radar' quality that can pack a wallop and steal bases: Carlos Santana 1B; Jason Kipnis 2B; Francisco Lindor SS; Mike Napoli DH; Jose Ramirez 3B; Lonnie Chisenhall RF; Rajai Davis LF; Tyler Naquin CF; Yan Gomes C. This should be a highly competitive series with a very slight edge to the Red Sox. We say: Sox in four.