BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox will host the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS after Tampa eliminated the Indians in the AL Wild Card game on Wednesday night.
Now Boston will have to face off against Tampa’s stout starting rotation, and will likely see reigning Cy Young winner David Price twice if necessary.
John Farrell announced his ALDS rotation on Wednesday, with Jon Lester getting the start in Game 1 followed by John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy.
While Boston’s bullpen has been labeled their biggest concern heading into the postseason, SI’s Joe Sheehan believes it will be how their rotation matches up with Tampa’s.
“I don’t know what they’re going to get out of the rotation. It’s been good, but can you say with a lot of confidence that John Lackey is with no doubt going to pitch well in the postseason?” Sheehan said on Wednesday night’s The Adam Jones Show. ” Jon Lester, who a couple of years ago looked like a true number-one, I don’t know if he is that guy anymore.”
“The starting pitching, especially when you line them up with the Rays, is where the weakness lies,” said Sheehan. “The bullpen will be fine, and we know this team can score runs, but can the starting pitching match up with the Rays starters?”
Sheehan does like the addition of Ryan Dempster to the Boston bullpen, and thinks he could be a difference maker if Boston needs some mid-game relief.
“I love that. I think Dempster’s stuff really will play up in the sixth or seventh inning if they have to pull someone early,” he said. “I love him in the bullpen with Breslow, Tazawa and Uehara. He is a nice addition to that pen.”