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Cleveland Indians: Previewing the series against the Boston Red Sox

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(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Not a rivalry, but a lot of history.

The Indians and Red Sox aren’t truly rivals. They play in separate divisions and each team has much more hated rivals within their own divisions. That being said, the two teams have some history between each other. While they are both historic franchises, recently the teams have been a thorn in each other’s side in the playoffs. We all know about the Red Sox comeback in the 2007 ALCS against a very good Indians team. There is also the Indians sweep of the Sox in the 2016 ALDS. Tribe manager Terry Francona has been on the winning side of both these meetings and he undoubtedly is loved by both franchises.

Take advantage of Boston’s weaknesses.

This is going to be an extremely difficult series for Cleveland. They have to take advantage of the few weaknesses the Red Sox have. Getting to the Boston bullpen is key. It’s been a good bullpen all season, but they’ve hit a bit of a speed bump lately. Guys like Craig Kimbrel, Heath Hembree, and Matt Barnes have struggled lately.

The Indians will also have to take advantage of Boston’s issues against lefty pitchers. While the Indians have no left-handed starters, they have a trio of great lefty relievers in Oliver Perez, Brad Hand, and Andrew Miller.

Worse/Best case scenario

Worse case: 1-3 series loss

Clearly there is a chance for the Red Sox to sweep the Tribe, effectively killing all of the hope in northeast Ohio. But the Indians have only been swept once in the last two years, and they likely will try to keep things that way. The Indians will place two of their best on the mound against the Red Sox and the Indians’ improved bullpen could help them salvage a win if worse comes to worse.

Best case: 2-2 series tie

The Indians will really have to hope on an utter collapse from the Red Sox, or play their best baseball of 2018 to win this series. I don’t see that happening with how good the Red Sox play at home. But if they can come away from this series with a tie, they should feel pretty good about themselves.

Next. Indians power rankings update. dark

The series kicks off tonight and continues until Thursday afternoon. If we come out of this series alive, just know that I’m proud of you all. Go Tribe.

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