ALDS 2021: Red Sox vs. Rays General Discussion Thread

DeadlySplitter

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TBS is handling the NL side this year, so this will be a FS1 / MLB Network series.

Game 1: BOS @ TB, Thursday October 8th at 8:07pm, FS1. Probables: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Shane McClanahan
Game 2: BOS @ TB, Friday October 9th at 7:02pm, FS1. Probables: Chris Sale vs. Shane Baz

Game 3: TB @ BOS, Sunday October 11th, 4:07pm, MLB Network. Probables: Drew Rasmussen vs. Nathan Eovaldi
Game 4: TB @ BOS, Monday October 12th, 7:07pm, FS! (if necessary).

Game 5: BOS @ TB, Wednesday October 14th, 5:07 or 8:07pm (if necessary), FS1.

======================================

Besides exactly how the pitching lines up, JDM ankle watch is back on.
 
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Lose Remerswaal

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We are in Virginia Beach next week. I REALLY hope the hotel gets MLBN and FS1, but I doubt it,

I got this schedule from another website, so MLBN might also work



Game 1: Red Sox at Rays, Thursday, Oct. 7th, 8:07 p.m. ET, FS1
Game 2: Red Sox at Rays, Friday, Oct. 8th, 7:02 p.m. ET, FS1
Game 3: Rays at Red Sox, Sunday, Oct. 10th, 4:07 p.m. ET, MLBN
Game 4: Rays at Red Sox, Monday, Oct. 11th* (FS1 or MLBN
Game 5: Red Sox at Rays, Wednesday, Oct. 13th* (FS1 or MLBN)
 

LynnRice75

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Ugh. I am in Florida. I lost MLB Network when I cut cable package to save money a year ago.
I have watched games on MLBTV via my computer.
Any suggestions how I might be able to see game 3 (and possibly 4 or 5 if they are not on FS1?)
 

VORP Speed

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Ugh. I am in Florida. I lost MLB Network when I cut cable package to save money a year ago.
I have watched games on MLBTV via my computer.
Any suggestions how I might be able to see game 3 (and possibly 4 or 5 if they are not on FS1?)
Fubo has a 7 day free trial.
 

Wallball Tingle

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So given the Rays are definitely a more complete/better team...this is the ideal place to get them in the playoffs, right? The 5-game series where the lucky bounces weigh even heavier...you hope luck (and moxie) can outweigh talent in the short window.
 

uncannymanny

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Play good defense and they can win this series. This is all free baseball. I hope they play that way.
 

nvalvo

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Offensively, TB has the edge, with a 112 OPS+ and 857 runs scored to Boston's 104 and 829. But Boston has actually had the better pitching staff by the park adjusted metrics, 111 ERA+ to Tampa's 108.
 

cantor44

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Ugh. I am in Florida. I lost MLB Network when I cut cable package to save money a year ago.
I have watched games on MLBTV via my computer.
Any suggestions how I might be able to see game 3 (and possibly 4 or 5 if they are not on FS1?)
I think the FUBO TV streaming package has MLBN. You could do a trial if you don't want the subscription.

EDIT: Sorry, VORP had already said that.
 

DeadlySplitter

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So given the Rays are definitely a more complete/better team...this is the ideal place to get them in the playoffs, right? The 5-game series where the lucky bounces weigh even heavier...you hope luck (and moxie) can outweigh talent in the short window.
Absolutely. And their starting rotation is really just a bunch of bullpen games - I am curious how that will play on an otherwise great team.
 

Apisith

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ERod against the Rays this year:
6IP/3ERs
5.1IP/2ERs
6IP/0ERs
3.2IP/8ERs

One disastrous game, one really good game. The other two we can live with considering Cora will have a quick hook. The disastrous one was also exactly one turn of the rotation after the 6 inning gem, so they saw him twice in a week and hit him hard. It's been a month since then, I'm hopeful of a good game from him.

Sale against them this year:
5IP/2ERs
3.2IP/1ER (gave up 10 hits and a walk though, and a big error lead to 4 unearned runs)


Eovaldi against them:
7IP/1ER
5.1IP/5ERs
7IP/1ER
7IP/0ER

Three gems, one blowup.

McClanahan against us:
6IP/1ER
5IP/4ER
5IP/0ER

We have not faced Baz since he came up.

Rasmussen against us in 3 starts:
4IP/1ER
4IP/1ER
5IP/1ER
 

Apisith

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I look at their rotation and compare it to ours, and I think ours is better. I look at their lineup and look at ours, and I think ours is better. Their bullpen is better, but Robles has turned into an elite pitcher and we now have Houck and Pivetta to supplement the rest. Brasier has also been good since he's been back. Basically, I think we can compete. We didn't win as many games as they did but for a variety of reasons like covid and some really bad starts by Richards, not because we don't have the same high-end talent. We're now healthy, there's a lot of talent in this roster, I don't see why we can't take this series.
 
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WheresDewey

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They're a better team, but not that much better to my subjective eye (even if run differential disagrees by over 100 runs). If the Sox avoid stupid fielding and baserunning mistakes, they have a fighting chance.
 

BaseballJones

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Tampa wins more over the long haul over Boston. But this isn’t a long haul. It’s a short haul and we’ve seen this team do some really good things over a short stretch.

I’m suddenly optimistic.
 

pokey_reese

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While we don't know the status of JD's ankle yet, last night had me wondering if the ideal utilization of this roster is to just leave the defensive alignment as it was last night, and platoon the DHs? Or at this point, do I just hope that JD's ankle limits him to PH duties if anything, and that they start Schwarber at DH every game? The idea of either of them in the OF is just so unappealing, if the net difference is just pushing Arroyo to the bench and Kiké to 2B.
 

Dahabenzapple2

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Archer1979

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Short series also give me pause when the Sox are the favorites and reason for hope when they're the underdogs. Split for the home team in the opening two puts so much more pressure on the favorite.

Steal one in Tampa, win two in Boston. Very doable.
 

BaseballJones

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The Sox' defensive alignment yesterday was about as optimal as it could be for this team. Yes, you lose JD's bat when he's out, but we saw what a difference good defense can make.

So I wonder if it makes sense to have JD (assuming he's healthy) at DH against LHP (Yarborough, McLanahan, Hill), and Schwarber at DH against RHP (Wacha, Patino).
 

Yo La Tengo

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The Sox' defensive alignment yesterday was about as optimal as it could be for this team. Yes, you lose JD's bat when he's out, but we saw what a difference good defense can make.

So I wonder if it makes sense to have JD (assuming he's healthy) at DH against LHP (Yarborough, McLanahan, Hill), and Schwarber at DH against RHP (Wacha, Patino).
That's where I'm at too. Plus Verdugo is a good offensive player (with some terrible baserunning instincts). Last night's line-up, with a rotating catcher spot depending on the starting pitcher, puts the team in the best position to win.
 

Beale13

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I'm seeing Pivetta mentioned here as a bullpen piece, but isn't he our game 4 starter?
 

Beale13

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He can certainly throw an inning or two Thursday or Friday and still be ready on Monday.
Definitely, he just won't be a regular bullpen fixture. Looks like Brasier, Houck, Robles, and Whitlock as the current rocks of the pen. Pivetta and ERod as spot pieces. Sawamura and Ottavino as usable heart attack inducers, and Barnes and Richards as last resort options. Not the best pen, but definitely enough to go to war with.
 

BaseballJones

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I think we will see Cora use starters in the bullpen like he did in 2018, which worked marvelously.

G1: Rodriguez (Eovaldi able to throw an inning)
G2: Sale (Pivetta able to throw an inning)
G3: Eovaldi (Rodriguez able to throw an inning)
G4: Pivetta (Sale able to throw an inning)
G5: Rodriguez (Eovaldi able to throw an inning)

Something like that.
 

joe dokes

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I think we will see Cora use starters in the bullpen like he did in 2018, which worked marvelously.

G1: Rodriguez (Eovaldi able to throw an inning)
G2: Sale (Pivetta able to throw an inning)
G3: Eovaldi (Rodriguez able to throw an inning)
G4: Pivetta (Sale able to throw an inning)
G5: Rodriguez (Eovaldi able to throw an inning)

Something like that.
I suppose that's one plausible upside of the 3rd-time-through hook. The starters might have a bit more gas in the tank. But I'd be surprised if Cora goes to Eovaldi in Game 1 with one day off. (i get that it wont matter if the relievers crap the bed after the hook).
 

VORP Speed

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The Sox' defensive alignment yesterday was about as optimal as it could be for this team. Yes, you lose JD's bat when he's out, but we saw what a difference good defense can make.

So I wonder if it makes sense to have JD (assuming he's healthy) at DH against LHP (Yarborough, McLanahan, Hill), and Schwarber at DH against RHP (Wacha, Patino).
The Rays starters for the series are McClanahan, Baz and Rasmussen
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Rich Hill was traded to the Mets in July, so they don’t have to worry about him. Doubt we will see much of Wacha or Yarbrough either.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The Rays have seemed to me to be the team all year that gets what it needs when it needs it. The big hit. The big strike. Kind of the anti-Blue Jays. I know that “just something about them” probably isn’t really a thing, but watching baseball for a long time makes me believe in it a little, and there is just something about this Rays team.

The short series gives me hope though. The Sox I think need something to happen to put a wrench in the machine. A bad error or a ball lost in the lights at a crucial moment and then hope the Rays go on tilt a little.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sure. I think one thing to obviously keep in mind is that none of these starters are likely to be in the game that long, so any platoon advantage will be short lived. McClanahan doesn’t have a platoon split and neither does JD, really- but you do have to split up the panting time somehow so that seems reasonable, assuming they are dead set in Arroyo at 2b and that Schwarber isn’t something they want to do?

Baz seems like a really bad matchup for Dalbec; if they are willing to play Schwarber at first I’d think that would be the game.
 

chawson

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Having to face Baz, when there’s not yet a book on Baz, is terrifying. If Sale’s starting that game and J.D.’s ankle is alright, maybe we get away with Schwarber at first base. Seems like a bad matchup for Dalbec.
 

Max Power

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The key to this series is going to be figuring out how to hit pitchers named Shane. This skill will also come in handy should there ever be a playoff series against the Guardians.

The most important thing from last night's game was the zero walks given up. If they can avoid handing out free bases to the Rays, they'll have a pretty good chance.
 

joe dokes

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The most important thing from last night's game was the zero walks given up. If they can avoid handing out free bases to the Rays, they'll have a pretty good chance.
The walks are especially crucial against low BA teams like NYY- .237. TB is only a bit better at .242. Take away the walks, and the inevitable HRs are much more likely to be only solo shots.
 

Kliq

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I hate the Rays. I hate their shitty ballpark. I hate their cheap owner. I hate that they never retain any players and just constantly churn over the team with a bunch of platoon players and launch-angle savants and the team never has any identity outside of math. I know we are all impressed by their continued excellence despite minimal funding, and really it stems from my dislike that they have found an unconventional way to achieve success; but I'd love to destroy them in this series and shove it down those smug, analytic-savvy faces.
 

sean1562

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The thing about the Rays offense is that Lowe, Zunino, and Arozarena have been amazing since the ASB and Franco gets better with each AB. Their offense is consistently good to great from 1-9.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Something that has me somewhat optimistic for this series is that the Sox have been a ridiculously streaky team all season. When they are on, they look like the best team in baseball. When they are off, they look like one of the worst teams in baseball. Since the beginning of the Washington series, they appear to be in "on" mode and we saw at the beginning of the season they can sustain that mode for months, so winning a single 5-game series (or more) doesn't seem that big of an ask in comparison.

That said, I also won't be terribly surprised if they turn back into their shitty-hitting, terrible-defense, unclutch-pitching selves and shit the bed in three games. Lots of ways this series could go.
 

Niastri

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Time for the mute but A-Rod is possibly worse than Smoltz. He of comparing Rizzo as potentially as important to the Yankees as Keith Hernandez was for the Mets in the 80’s. Maybe the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
The best thing I read in the game thread was that ESPN 2 was also broadcasting the game, without ARod routing for the Yankees over the game.

I'm glad the app also had the Statcast version. For once, they even had cool graphics!
 

TFisNEXT

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The Rays have seemed to me to be the team all year that gets what it needs when it needs it. The big hit. The big strike. Kind of the anti-Blue Jays. I know that “just something about them” probably isn’t really a thing, but watching baseball for a long time makes me believe in it a little, and there is just something about this Rays team.

The short series gives me hope though. The Sox I think need something to happen to put a wrench in the machine. A bad error or a ball lost in the lights at a crucial moment and then hope the Rays go on tilt a little.
Yep. I'm not sure if this is still the case (maybe someone has updated stats, I don't), but for a long while this season they were out-performing their secondary and tertiary underyling stats. They were scoring a lot more runs than you'd expect. I kept waiting for them to regress, but they never did. It's possible they just got better (Franco looks better and better) and covered up any potential regression. But who knows.

My hope is that the negative regression for them finally shows up this series. I thought the MFY win would make me content to just let this one play out, but I find yself REALLY wanting the Red Sox to beat this Rays team. Maybe it's because most of the baseball world isn't giving them that much of a chance.
 

chawson

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Fangraphs likes the Sox

View attachment 44958
That’s a wild set of odds, and makes me wonder if their projection system knows how to handle Baz and his 3 MLB starts.

OTOH, throwing our best LHP starters against them lines us up as nicely as possible. Cruz is not quite the same guy, and neutralizing Meadows (.563 OPS), Lowe (.662 OPS) and Choi (.526 OPS) helps a lot.
 

chrisfont9

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I look at their rotation and compare it to ours, and I think ours is better. I look at their lineup and look at ours, and I think ours is better. Their bullpen is better, but Robles has turned into an elite pitcher and we now have Houck and Pivetta to supplement the rest. Brasier has also been good since he's been back. Basically, I think we can compete. We didn't win as many games as they did but for a variety of reasons like covid and some really bad starts by Richards, not because we don't have the same high-end talent. We're now healthy, there's a lot of talent in this roster, I don't see why we can't take this series.
Our lineup is NOT better. Franco, Lowe, Arozarena, Zunino is a run of OPS+ guys from 129-142. Devers and Schwarber are the only players on our roster in that range. They run 13 players deep of bats over 100 OPS+ with the exception of Margot, who is at 98. Sox run 10 deep with a much bigger hole at catcher, and that is masking our issue at 2B unless Arroyo gets it going. So they have more high ceiling guys and depth.

But I wouldn't call it a huge difference, and in a short series it's all about who is hotter. Sox are maybe coming around. Still, there is a reason they scored all those runs.
 

NYCSox

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I hate the Rays. I hate their shitty ballpark. I hate their cheap owner. I hate that they never retain any players and just constantly churn over the team with a bunch of platoon players and launch-angle savants and the team never has any identity outside of math. I know we are all impressed by their continued excellence despite minimal funding, and really it stems from my dislike that they have found an unconventional way to achieve success; but I'd love to destroy them in this series and shove it down those smug, analytic-savvy faces.
Except VORP. He’s alright. Even if he is cohabitating with the enemy now.