2016 MLB Postseason: Boston Red Sox ALDS Game 3 predictions
The bats wake up at Fenway
The best lineup in baseball was limited to a total of only four runs through the first two games of this series. The Red Sox have hit a meager .200 with a .673 OPS and have struck out a staggering 22 times. Expect that trend to change now that the series has shifted back to Boston.
The Red Sox averaged an MLB best 5.4 runs per game at home this season, while finishing at or near the top of essentially every significant offensive category. This is an offensive juggernaut that won’t be stymied for long, especially not in this ballpark.
Those dismal numbers the offense has produced in this series have been heavily influenced by being blanked by Corey Kluber in Game 2, but the Red Sox won’t be facing a Cy Young contender this time.
Josh Tomlin finished the season strong in September, but still posted a brutal 5.59 ERA in the second half. His 6.10 K/9 was one of the lowest strikeout rates in the league this season, which a Red Sox team that makes a lot of contact should feast on. Tomlin also gives up a lot of hard contact, as the 36 home runs he surrendered were the second most in the league.
A contact pitcher that has struggled with the long ball coming to a hitter-friendly park to face a powerful lineup that thrives in this environment? Sounds like this could be the opportunity this team needs to spark their offense.
Expect the Red Sox to hang some crooked numbers early, putting up 6+ runs before Cleveland has the chance to counter with the shutdown relievers at the back end of their bullpen.