BOSTON (CBS) — We still don’t know whom the Red Sox will face in the ALDS, but we know who will be taking the mound for the first three games.
Shortly after his team concluded the regular season with their 108th victory on Sunday, manager Alex Cora announced that he’ll go with Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello to start the best-of-five ALDS. Boston will play either the Yankees or Athletics, who play in Wednesday night’s AL Wild Card game in New York.
The ALDS will begin Friday with Games 1 and 2 at Fenway Park. Sale was 4-2 with a 2.11 ERA in his 12 starts in Boston, holding opposing batters to a .202 average while striking out 95 in 64 innings pitched. Price went 9-2 with a 2.98 ERA in his 16 games at Fenway, compared to his 7-5 record and 4.31 ERA on the road.
Sale won both of his starts against the Yankees during the regular season, holding them to just one earned run in 13 innings of work while striking out 19. He was 1-1 in his two starts against Oakland, allowing five runs off eight hits (including a pair of homers) while issuing five walks in 12 innings.
Price struggled mightily against New York this season (and since donning a Red Sox uniform), going 0-3 in his four starts while allowing 20 runs (18 earned) in just 15.2 innings. The Yankees took Price deep nine times, including a five-homer outburst on July 1 in Yankee Stadium. The lefty lost his only start against the Athletics this season, allowing four runs off nine hits over 7.2 innings on April 22 in Oakland.
Porcello will toe the rubber in Boston’s first road game of the playoffs, and he actually had more success away from Fenway Park during the regular season. Porcello was 10-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 18 starts on the road, and 7-4 with a 4.77 ERA in his 15 starts at home.
Porcello was 2-0 against the Yankees, allowing just six runs in 23.1 innings of work, and held New York bats to a .143 batting average. One of his most impressive outings of the season came against the Yankees, a complete-game, one-hitter (a solo homer by Miguel Andujar) on August 3 at Fenway Park. He was hit hard in his only start at Yankee Stadium during the regular season, allowing five runs in 5.1 innings in a 9-6 Boston loss on May 9.
The A’s also tagged Porcello pretty hard the only time they saw him during the regular season, scoring five runs off nine hits (including a pair of homers) in a 6-5 win at Fenway Park on May 14.
The only question that remains in regards to Boston’s postseason rotation is who will get the ball in Game 4, as Cora was unwilling to commit to a starter on Sunday. That decision likely be between Nathan Eovaldi or Eduardo Rodriguez.
Eovaldi did not allow a run against the Yankees in 16 innings with the Red Sox during the regular season, and he pitched six shutout innings against Oakland in May as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Rodriguez made two appearances against the Yankees out of the bullpen over the weekend to mixed results; he gave up three runs in two innings on Saturday before striking out two in a perfect inning of work on Sunday. For the season, the lefty allowed 13 earned runs in 17.2 innings against New York, going 1-2 with a 6.62 ERA. He made one start against Oakland, allowing three runs off six hits in five innings in a 5-3 Boston loss.