As summer rounds third and heads for home, so does the MLB 2021 regular season. With only about a month to go until October baseball, here are some potential matchups for the Boston Red Sox, assuming they end up in the AL Wild Card:
1. New York Yankees (at the Bronx)
This would be the current matchup for the Sox if the season ended today and the toughest on this list. A matchup with the Yankees in a winner take all matchup would provide the challenge of beating the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young in Gerrit Cole in front of a raucous crowd of 50,000 in the Bronx.
Although the Red Sox won the season series against the Yankees, it was against a lifeless club in June and July, pre-deadline. It is tough to remain optimistic watching this Yankee team become hotter as October approaches.
Prediction: 4-2 Yankees
2. Oakland Athletics (at Fenway)
As the Yankees continue to dominate the field, the Athletics are growing cold. Although this matchup is proving to be more unlikely, it would be the most favorable for the Sox. In their most recent series in Oakland, the Red Sox dominated all three games offensively.
It is tough to see the Red Sox losing a one-game playoff in front of the Fenway Faithful. They would likely face a good pitcher in Chris Bassitt, but he is no elite pitcher. Chris Sale would own this matchup and quiet the Athletics’ bats.
Prediction: 6-2 Red Sox
3. Tampa Bay Rays (at Trop)
This matchup would occur if the Yankees could manage to overtake the AL East. This has been an up and down season series with each team sweeping the other team once. The Rays currently own a 7-5 record against the Sox.
This matchup is the most even of the three here and would prove challenging for the Sox to win on the road. The Rays have dominated this series in the Trop, which is a whole different animal in the playoffs. The Sox will hold an early lead, but the Rays bats will get to the Boston bullpen and ultimately prevail.
Prediction: 5-4 Rays
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