The New York Yankees did their job in ensuring the baseball world will get their most classic and entertaining rivalry against the Boston Red Sox. With both teams finishing with over 100 wins, and the kind of talent that can blow up any game, this should be one of the most explosive matchups in the playoffs.
When you look at both these rosters, the offense will always jump out at you. The Red Sox may have had the two most complete and balanced hitters in the league with J.D Martinez and Mookie Betts, while the Yankees just set a record for most home runs in a season.
The pitching matchups will be crucial, and struggles from either side could mean a quick series. What we do know, however, is that both of these teams have hitters that are good enough to abuse anyone but the key will always be consistency in the playoffs.
Right now, you cannot deny that the Yankees have the best power in the MLB, and that is something the Red Sox need to be able to use to their advantage. The Yankees know that they need that power and that becomes a part of how they are going to play.
The Yankees know that they need those explosive hits, and their top hitters will have the mentality that if they are not hitting the long ball, there will not be enough offensive depth and consistency to get runners home against a top tier Red Sox pitching staff.
On the Red Sox, it can be the opposite mentality. For them, hitting that deep ball is the luxury and how they break open a game. The focus, however, is all bout getting on base, wearing down the opposing pitcher and relentlessly putting pressure on them,.
The Red Sox know how dangerous it is to try and fight the Yankees with power. The bottom line is that they really do have the kind of power that can keep up, but they lose their most significant offensive advantage by doing that.
The Red Sox have the depth and they have the consistency. They do not necessarily need their top two bats to be swinging well in order to bring runs in. The key for the Red Sox will be cashing in the runners in scoring position.
With how explosive the Yankees are, the Red Sox know that they can turn the game around as quick as anyone. The Yankees power will give them more opportunities to get runs in chunks and how the Red Sox deal with that pressure is going to be crucial to this series.
The Red Sox need to make sure they cash in any opportunity and never let a pitcher go deep in this game. The Yankees have power that can get to anyone but this Red Sox lineup against a tired out bullpen should be all they need to get a victory.
The Red Sox need those secondary players like Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts to step up more than any secondary players on the Yankees. The Red Sox need their top hitters to be protected, so they are not continually being left stranded in key situations.
The best part about any Yankees Red Sox series is how impossible it is to predict. There is going to be excitement and there is going to be madness, but the Red Sox know they have all the tools they need to overwhelm the Yankees in all phases of the game. In a series that is likely to be defined by chaos, any stability the Red Sox can get could make all the difference.
Especially in these AL ball parks, the Yankees can easily turn any game into a slug fest. With the pitching the Red Sox have, however, they should not be worried too much about multiple players really breaking open a game.
Relying on power is always dangerous in the playoffs, because of how easy it is for anyone to go cold for short stretches. The Yankees certainly have the talent to maintain that explosiveness throughout, but the Red Sox do not have pitchers that will be pushed around, making it even more dangerous to rely on that deep ball.
Fortunately, the Red Sox know they have additional and more reliable options with their hitting, and how many different ways they are able to execute could end up pushing the Yankees to the brink.
If the Red Sox get the reliability and consistency they know their bats can offer, they have a pitching staff that is good enough to make sure their consistency with getting on base breaks down any attempts they have to blow open the game with the home run ball.