Coming into the season it would have seemed a safe bet to take the Yankees for scoring more runs. That’s not how the season has played out, however. The Red Sox have the highest R/G in the majors at 5.20. Houston is second at 5.14 and the Yankees come in at third with 5.10. For raw runs scored, it’s Houston with 427. Then Boston at 426 and the Yankees at 398. The Red Sox are tied for the top batting average at .266 while the Yankees sit at eleventh with a .249. For OBP, the Sox are 4th and the Yanks 6th. For SLG it’s Boston at the top of the league (.459) and New York in second (.455).
The biggest surprise has been the home run power on display in Boston. Last season the Red Sox were one of the worst teams in MLB for both SLG and home runs hit. This year they trail only the Yankees in going bridge. The Sox have 118 HR, a 233 home run pace for the year. That’s a remarkable 72.1% increase over last season. The Yankees sit at the top of the hill with 127. Though with the addition of Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason, that isn’t surprising.
Key hitters for each team.
The Yankees lineup is longer than that of their rivals. With seven players having at 30 or more games played and at least a 115 OPS+ it’s hard for a pitcher to find a spot to take a breath when facing them. The Red Sox sport six players at 112 or higher and at least 30 games played. But where they pull ahead is at the top. Five of those batters have a 125 or higher, three are at 139 or higher, and their best hitters (Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez) are at 190 and 173 respectively. The top Yankees hitter is Aaron Judge at 155. After that it’s Gleyber Torres at 134.
If the Red Sox are to win this series, they will need Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez to continue their excellence, and for Andrew Benintendi to continue his hot streak. New addition Steve Pearce may be a key figure in game one given his success against left handed pitchers, and C.C. Sabathia in particular. He has an .848 OPS against the veteran southpaw.