Thus far in the MLB postseason, we've been treated to some incredible pitcher's duels throughout most of the games (except Texas). Today looks to be more of the same as the Red Sox send David Price to the hill to face off against Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of the ALDS.
How to watch
First pitch for today's game will be at 4:30 PM ET on TBS.
If Rick Porcello has been pitcher #1 for the Red Sox, David Price has been #1B. The pitchers after those two are a different story, but it looks like today should make the Red Sox feel at ease with their starting pitcher. Similar to Porcello, Price won't blow you away with incredible heat (his fastball has been around 93-94mph all season), but he has a variety of other pitches that he uses to carve up a lineup. Specifically, his changeup, his second most used pitch this season, is getting batters to swing and miss almost 24% of the time that he throws it. Pair that with a hard sinker and a curve/cutter combo, and Price has the tools to shut down a lineup for multiple innings at a time.
Fortunately for the Indians (and unfortunately for the Red Sox), the starting pitcher for the home team is no slouch either. Corey Kluber is coming off of arguably his best season since he won his first Cy Young award in 2014. He's not as flashy and his story isn't as sexy as some other narratives around baseball, but the man is a true workhorse and consistently gives his team a chance to win. Kluber's secret weapon (or not so secret if you've paid any attention to the Cleveland Indians this year) is his destructive cutter...and his fastball...and his sinker. All three of those pitches make batters look as silly as when they attempt to hit Andrew Miller's slider. And oh yeah, he has this too:
Keys to the game: Get Kluber some run support early
If last night was any indication of what type of offense we're going to see from Cleveland in this postseason, Kluber will be a very happy robot. The Tribe trailed early in Game 1, but they were able to fight back to tie the game in the second inning and take a lead in the third that they would never relinquish. Kluber, unless something goes terribly wrong, should go deeper in the game than the 4.2 innings that the Tribe got from Bauer last night. The offense is going to need to pounce on Price early and often in order to give Kluber (and the bullpen) some breathing room for the duration of the game.
Last night, everyone expected the Red Sox to come away with an easy victory. The Indians showed that they aren't going to be buried by a tired narrative and be a doormat for the Red Sox. Today, the odds to go on the road 2-0 favor the Tribe thanks to the cybernetic organism with living tissue over a metal endoskeleton that is heading to the mound to start the game. Hopefully the offense rises to the occasion for their ace, just as they did last night in front of a deafening home crowd.