Red Sox vs. Indians series could be a postseason preview

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 14: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 14: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

A postseason preview comes to Fenway Park this week. The Indians come to town for a four-game series. The atmosphere should be electric at Fenway

The Boston Red Sox have really beaten bad competition this season. They have a 9.5 game lead in the American League East and are on pace for 115 wins on the season. Finally, this week it will feel like October when the Cleveland Indians come to Fenway Park.

The Indians are the only team on their schedule that the Red Sox haven’t played yet this season. Cleveland leads the AL Central under manager Terry Francona who knows a little too well what it takes to win in Boston. It should feel like a playoff atmosphere for four days this week at Fenway Park.

Boston has owned the New York Yankees this season. The Red Sox are 2-1 against the Houston Astros and 2-3 against the Oakland Athletics.  Alex Cora knows, however, that the Indians aren’t the Baltimore Orioles or some other bad team, they are a playoff team and will be ready to play.

Cora spoke yesterday about the upcoming series with the Indians. Telling Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald:

"“They’re in a good situation right now in the Central, obviously they’re a little bit banged up but they’re very explosive, their young guys have been in the playoffs already, they’ve played in the World Series. They were short three outs, so they have enough motivation over there. Their manager, he does an outstanding job, too. We know how good they are and I feel like they know we’re good. It’s going to be a four-game series, one of those like the Yankees, we play it and we move on and we’ve got to go to Tampa, it should be fun.”"

The Indians will be putting their aces on the mound for this series. Corey Kluber will pitch the first game of the series Monday night. Kluber faced the Red Sox once last season and lost, giving up one home run and striking out 12. He finished the year with a 2.25 ERA. The reigning Cy Young winner is 15-6 with a 2.68 ERA this season. Carlos Carrasco pitches on Wednesday. He’s 15-6 with a 3.33 ERA.

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Jose Ramirez has been having an MVP season also for the Cleveland Indians. Ramirez has 37 home runs on the season, one less than J.D. Martinez for the Red Sox. Ramirez is batting .300 and has 91 RBI’s on the season.

Out of the Indians bullpen, reliever Andrew Miller always seems to have the Red Sox number. Miller has a 3.43 ERA so far this season. Also, in the 2016 ALDS, Miller had a 0.00 ERA in two games and had seven strikeouts. Miller only gave up two walks against the Red Sox.  However, last season against the Red Sox Miller had a 13.50 ERA. He didn’t face the Red Sox in the playoffs in 2017.

The Red Sox have Rick Porcello pitching against Kluber on Monday, followed by Nathan Eovaldi and Brian Johnson. David Price takes the mound for the last game of the series.

Thursday will be a great test for Price. He’s been on fire, really pitching well against the bad teams. He also pitched well on Sunday Night Baseball against the New York Yankees at the beginning of August. But part two of the test for the playoffs comes on Thursday night for the $32 million pitcher.

The bats for the Red Sox were silenced on Sunday afternoon in the 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. But with this series the Red Sox bats should come alive. Martinez hit his 38th home run of the season Saturday night putting him the front-runner in the MVP voting. This will be a real test for the Red Sox though and they still play the Yankees and Astros coming up soon.

The Red Sox are 13-3 in the month of August so far. Again they are having a great regular season but it’s all about October. For the last two seasons, the Red Sox have won the division but have been taken out in the first round of the playoffs. That is unacceptable with the amount of talent on this team. John Farrell wasn’t connecting with his players or coaches which is why he was let go after last season.

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This year, however, is a new season and it’s been fun to watch. The team has become more likable than last year. Finally,  Cora was brought here for a reason to win in the playoffs and this series coming up is a good test for what’s to come in the postseason.