NLDS: Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies
A rematch of last year's NLDS, I think that Braves-Phillies has become one of my favorite playoff matchups to watch anytime that it's on. Both teams are electric to watch, intra-divisional rivalries get even more amped up in October, and the crowds at both ballparks always show up for the big matchups (do better, Tampa).
When it comes to the Atlanta Braves, we have a couple of interesting cases when it comes to the Red Sox crossover. We have the normal played for both teams in Kevin Pillar, who I argue that the Red Sox should have held onto a bit longer than half of the 2020 season. We have the draft pick that did not sign in the case of Kirby Yates (who I honestly thought had retired), and then there's the case of Collin McHugh. McHugh signed with the Red Sox in 2020, but then opted out of the COVID-shortened season, leaving for Tampa in the offseason. I do wish the Red Sox had someone like McHugh in the rotation now, but circumstances proved to not allow that to occur.
The Phillies have a couple of big-hitters in their ranks for Sox fans. Craig Kimbrel was a massive part of the 2018 team (even if Chris Sale stole his thunder in the close-out game), and who can forget the mania for Kyle from Waltham during the 2021 run? I'll always remember Schwarbombs getting dropped constantly throughout those playoffs, and being pretty disappointed that we let him go because he couldn't play first base. Matt Strahm, survivor of the 2022 Boston Red Sox, also finds himself on the Phillies roster, but it's primarily a Craig and Kyle party in Philly for Sox fans.