Ranking the starting rotations of each of the teams to qualify for the postseason in the American League. How does the Boston Red Sox staff stack up?
The old narrative is that pitching wins in the postseason. While there’s a bit more to it than that, especially in an era where home run rates are skyrocketing on an annual basis, pitching remains the key ingredient to success in the playoffs. The Boston Red Sox have quality pitchers on their roster but how do they stack up against the competition in the American League this postseason?
There are a number of factors that go into ranking the pitching staffs of the five teams to qualify for the playoffs. The rotation’s collective production can be measured using a mixture of common statistics (i.e. ERA, batting average against, strikeouts) and advanced (i.e. WAR, K/BB ratio, xFIP). However, these stats don’t tell the full story.
Rotations anchored by a dominant ace weigh more heavily in a postseason series where they may get the opportunity to pitch at least twice. Teams also only need four starters in the postseason, so we can ignore the results from a fifth starter, or spot starters, who may have been dragging down the team’s numbers.
Let’s take a look at the playoff rotations for each qualified team to see where Boston’s staff ranks.