Cleveland Indians: What the Tribe’s Pitching Staff is Up Against in the ALDS
Boston Hitting vs. Cleveland Pitching
Despite the one-on-one matchups described in the previous section, Boston as a whole has done a number on Cleveland’s staff this season, though of the four pitchers beaten up the worst, only two are locks to be on the postseason roster.
Among the most dangerous Red Sox hitters against the Indians this season, Ortiz stands head and shoulders above the rest, slashing .458/.519/1.125 with an OPS+ of 347. Big Papi is 11-for-24 with four doubles, four homers, and eight RBIs, with three of those big flies and five of those runs driven in coming at Progressive Field, having beaten up on Cleveland pitching more than any other team in his final season.
The trio of Bradley, Betts, and Ramirez are next in line as Tribe killers this season, each with an OPS+ of 185 or above, and combining for six home runs and 15 RBIs. Only Betts struggled in the three games in Cleveland, being held to a .231/.286/.462 slash line in 14 plate appearances.
Bogaerts, Pedroia, and Shaw each struggled in the season series, with Bogaerts in particular not being a big fan of Progressive Field. In three games in Cleveland, the all-star shortstop went 1-for-13, a slash line of .077/.143/.077, and four strikeouts.
The reason Boston has been so dangerous this season, and why the Indians’ pitching staff will have such a fight on its hands, is that the team can win in a variety of ways. In addition to being so prolific in their hitting, the Red Sox ranked second (to Cleveland) in baserunning according to FanGraphs, were third in stolen base success rate, and ranked second, according to Baseball Reference, in extra bases taken percentage. Only Betts and Bogaerts had double digit stolen bases, but the club is savvy and deceptive with its speed.