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Doing research for my THT ALCS preview, some things stood out:

  1. The Red Sox have a right-handed heavy lineup. That probably bodes well for Fausto Carmona and Paul Byrd, and not as well for CC Sabathia. This is more of a Rafael Betancourt series than a Rafael Perez series.
  2. Boston's a more patient team than the Yankees, as difficult as that is to comprehend. They haven't hit for as much home run power as previous Sox teams, but they have a lineup full of work-the-count hitters.
  3. The Indians should have held out for this guy a couple of years ago.
  4. Boston's a much better hitting team at home (.844 vs .768 OPS), which isn't all that surprising. It's almost a blessing that the Indians didn't get HFA, otherwise we'd be seeing Westrbrook and Byrd at Fenway instead of Sabathia and Carmona.
  5. Jonathan Papelbon has allowed 30 hits and struck out 84 in 58.1 IP. In other words, don't expect any late comebacks, at least by the Indians.
  6. Boston has two good left-handed relievers, so Eric Wedge will have to play the matchup game late.
  7. There is an opportunity to throw CC Sabathia three times in this series, but he'll have go on three days' rest in Game 4 to do so. I don't think that's happening unless the Sox are up 3-0.
I'm not feeling as well about this series I did about the ALDS - there's no big advantage the Indians can exploit. Even with the good offenses and the crazyness that is Fenway, I think this is a low-scoring series.